Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples (Paperback)

Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples By Kerry Driscoll Cover Image

Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples (Paperback)


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Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples is the first book-length study of the writer’s evolving views regarding the aboriginal inhabitants of North America and the Southern Hemisphere, and his deeply conflicted representations of them in fiction, newspaper sketches, and speeches. Using a wide range of archival materials—including previously unexamined marginalia in books from Clemens’s personal library—Driscoll charts the development of the writer’s ethnocentric attitudes about Indians and savagery in relation to the various geographic and social milieus of communities he inhabited at key periods in his life, from antebellum Hannibal, Missouri, and the Sierra Nevada mining camps of the 1860s to the progressive urban enclave of Hartford’s Nook Farm. The book also examines the impact of Clemens’s 1895–96 world lecture tour, when he traveled to Australia and New Zealand and learned firsthand about the dispossession and mistreatment of native peoples under British colonial rule. This groundbreaking work of cultural studies offers fresh readings of canonical texts such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Roughing It, and Following the Equator, as well as a number of Twain’s shorter works.
Kerry Driscoll is Professor of English at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. She is the past president of the Mark Twain Circle of America and serves as a contributing editor of its journal, the Mark Twain Annual.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520310742
ISBN-10: 0520310748
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 464
Language: English
“[a] ground-breaking new study.... Readers of this book will be disturbed, provoked, and disheartened, but not disappointed. They will find the excellent illustrations, bibliography, and index subentries extremely helpful and suggestive of further readings and research. Honest scholarly enquiry often leads to more questions than answers, and if there are unanswered questions at the end of Driscoll's superb enquiry, it is not the fault of the enquirer, but Mark Twain himself, who left us no clear answers on this subject—not because he knew the answers and chose to withhold them, but because he simply did not know himself.”

— Mark Twain Forum

"Driscoll’s book offers a comprehensive examination of Twain’s attitudes about 'Indians' and the results are arguably more dismal, and even damning, than one might expect."
— American Literary Realism

"Mark Twain among the Indians and Other Indigenous People will be the definitive resource for those seeking to track Twain’s attitudes toward Indigenous peoples."
— Great Plains Quarterly