The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 135th Anniversary Edition / Edition 1

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 135th Anniversary Edition / Edition 1

Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Pub. Date:
University of California Press
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 135th Anniversary Edition / Edition 1

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 135th Anniversary Edition / Edition 1

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This is Mark Twain's first novel about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and it has become one of the world's best-loved books. It is a fond reminiscence of life in Hannibal, Missouri, an evocation of Mark Twain's own boyhood along the banks of the Mississippi during the 1840s. "Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred," he tells us. The Mark Twain Library edition contains the only text since the first edition (1876) to be based directly on the author's manuscript and to include all of the "200 rattling pictures' Mark Twain commissioned from one of his favorite illustrators, True W. Williams. This landmark anniversary edition contains a selection of original documents by Mark Twain, including several letters in his inimitable voice about writing Tom Sawyer and about its original publication.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520266124
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 08/10/2010
Series: Mark Twain Library Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,096,641
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

About The Author
The Mark Twain Project, composed of seven editors, is a major editorial and publishing program of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


No answer.


No answer.

"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"

No answer.

The old lady puffed her spectacles down and looked over them and about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service-she could have seen through a pair of stovelids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:

"Y-o-u-u Tom!"

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?"


"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that truck?"

"I don't know, aunt."

"Well, I know. It's jam-that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."

The switch hovered in theair-the peril was desperate

"My! Look behind you, aunt!"

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger, The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board fence, and disappeared over it.

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is, But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's A down again and I can't hit him a tick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows, Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hockey this evening,* and I'll just be obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to punish him, It's mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and Ive got to do some of my duty by him, or I'll be the ruination of the child."

Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's wood and split the kindlings before supper-at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work. Torn's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a quiet boy, and he had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep-for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of tow cunning. Said she:

"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"


"Powerful warm, warn't it?"


"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No'm--well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:

"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of tier, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:

"Some of us pumped on our hcads--mine's damp yet. Sec?"

Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trickThen she had a new inspiration:

Table of Contents


1. Y -o-u-u Tom-Aunt Polly Decides Upon her Duty-
Tom Practices Music-The Challenge-A Private
2. Strong Temptations-Strategic Movements-The
Innocents Beguiled
3. Tom as a General-Triumph and Reward-Dismal
Felicity-Commission and Omission
4. Mental Acrobatics-Attending Sunday-School-The
Superintendent-"Showing off"-Tom Lionized
5. A Useful Minister-In Church-The Climax
6. Self-Examination-Dentistry-The Midnight Charm-
Witches and Devils-Cautious Approaches-Happy
7. A Treaty Entered Into-Early Lessons-A Mistake Made
8. Tom Decides on his Course-Old Scenes Re-enacted
9. A Solemn Situation-Grave Subjects Introduced-
Injun Joe Explains
10. The Solemn Oath-Terror Brings Repentance-
Mental Punishment
11. Muff Potter Comes Himself-Tom's Conscience
at Work
12. Tom Shows his Generosity-Aunt Polly Weakens
13. The Young Pirates-Going to the Rendezvous-The
Camp-Fire Talk
14. Camp-Life-A Sensation-Tom Steals Away from
15. Tom Reconnoiters-Learns the Situation-Reports at
16. A Day's Amusements-Tom Reveals a Secret-The
Pirates take a Lesson-A Night Surprise-An Indian
17. Memories of the Lost Heroes-The Point in Tom's
18. Tom's Feelings Investigated-Wonderful Dream-
Becky Thatcher Overshadowed-Tom Becomes
Jealous-Black Revenge
19. Tom Tells the Truth
20. Becky in a Dilemma-Tom's Nobility Asserts Itself
21. Youthful Eloquence- Compositions by the Young
Ladies-A Lengthy Vision- The Boys' Vengeance
22. Tom's Confidence Betrayed-Expects Signal
23. Old Muff's Friends- Muff Potter in Court-Muff
Potter Saved
24. Tom as the Village Hero- Days of Splendor and
Nights of Horror-Pursuit of Injun Joe
25. About Kings and Diamonds-Search for the Treasure
-Dead People and Ghosts
26. The Haunted House-Sleepy Ghosts-A Box of Gold
-Bitter Luck
27. Doubts to be Settled-The Young Detectives
28. An Attempt at No. Two- Huck Mounts Guard
29. The Pic-nic-Huck on Injun Joe's Track-The
"Revenge" Job-Aid for the Widow
30. The Welchman Reports- Huck Under Fire- The
Story Circulated- A New Sensation- Hope Giving
Way to Despair
31. An Exploring Expedition- Trouble Commences- Lost
in the Cave-Total Darkness-Found but not Saved
32. Tom tells the Story of their Escape-Tom's Enemy in
Safe Quarters
33 . The Fate of Injun Joe-Huck and Tom Compare
Notes-An Expedition to the Cave-Protection
Against Ghosts-"An Awful Snug Place"-A Reception
at the Widow Douglas's
34. Springing a Secret-Mr. Jones' Surprise a Failure
35. A New Order of Things-Poor Huck-New Adventures


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose."

Reading Group Guide

1. In his preface, Mark Twain remarks that "Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves. . . ." Do you think Twain succeeds in this "plan"? Discuss the ways in which Tom Sawyer can be read by both children and adults-do different aspects of the book appeal to different kinds of readers? Are different episodes designed, as some critics have suggested, to appeal to different audiences?

2. How does Tom Sawyer relate to the world of adult authority and responsibility? Can he be said to "mature" during the course of the novel, as critics have asserted? If so in what ways?

3. Discuss the town of St. Petersburg, Mississippi, Tom Sawyer's home. How would you describe it? What literary devices or descriptions, to your mind, make Twain's portrayal of rural American life in the years before the Civil War interesting, unique, appealing?

4. Virginia Wexman notes that in Tom Sawyer "we are confronted with two clearly separate worlds. The first world is a light and engaging one . . . where life is played at . . . the world of Tom himself. . . . But there is another world here too, a darker world where actions have real meaning and real moral consequences-the world of people like Injun Joe and Muff Potter." Discuss each of these "two worlds, " and the ways in which they are related to each other in the novel.

5. Discuss Tom's relationship with Huckleberry Finn, from their first encounter, through their subsequentadventures. What do you make of this friendship? Why are these characters drawn to each other? Compare this relationship with other relationships in the novel, for instance Tom's relationship to Becky Thatcher.

6. Discuss Twain's use of particular geographical settings as scenes for episodes in the novel: the river, the island, the cave. Why do you think these particular landscapes are chosen? How do they inform the action of the novel?

7. Tom Sawyer is one of the most recognizable and revered characters in American literature; as Lyall Powers writes, "Everybody knows Tom's story whether he has actually read the book or not." What do you think accounts for the enduring popularity of Twain's literary creation?

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