The story features Roxanna, a mulatto slave who suffers dire consequences after switching her infant son with her master’s baby. Also the clever Pudd’nhead Wilson, an ostracized small-town lawyer. Twain’s darkly comic masterpiece is a provocative exploration of slavery and miscegenation. Leslie A. Fiedler describes the novel as “half melodramatic detective story, half bleak tragedy,” noting that “morally, it is one of the most honest books in our literature.”
The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1894 first American Edition.