Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is perhaps America's favorite author. A quick-witted humorist who wrote travelogues, letters, speeches, and most famously the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Twain was so successful that he became America's biggest celebrity by the end of the 19th century. Despite writing biting satires, he managed to befriend everyone from presidents to European royalty. The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson is a classic Twain tale that looks at the family of “Pudd’nhead” Wilson, but Twain uses this set up to describe racism and slavery in the South before the Civil War. It also looks at the treatment of white people who were only 1/32 African-American. It remains one of Twain's most poignant social commentaries and critiques of the 19th century, especially when it comes to race relations.