Mark Twain's tale of a boy's picaresque journey down the Mississippi on a raft conveyed the voice and experience of the American frontier as no other work had done before. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the 'sivilizing' Widow Douglas with the runaway slave Jim, he embarks on a series of adventures that draw him to feuding families and the trickery of the unscrupulous 'Duke' and 'Dauphin'. Beneath the exploits, however, are more serious undercurrents - of slavery, adult control and, above all, of Huck's struggle between his instinctive goodness and the corrupt values of society, which threaten his deep and enduring friendship with Jim.
Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain spent his youth in Hannibal, Missouri, which forms the setting for his two greatest works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Trying his hand at printing, typesetting and then gold-mining, the former steam-boat pilot eventually found his calling in journalism and travel writing. Dubbed 'the father of American literature' by William Faulkner, Twain died in 1910 after a colourful life of travelling, bankruptcy and great literary success.