Merry Tales

Merry Tales

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These seven sketches are unmistakably Twain, displaying his characteristic energy, imagination, and sense of fun, as well as the darkly satirical edge that marks all his work. His targets range from the difficulty of learning German, expressed in a three-act play where two young lovers are obliged to conduct their courtship in beginning German, to the incompetence of military command, found in a sketch called "Luck" in which it is revealed that a celebrated general's most lauded battle stratagem resulted from his confusing his right hand with his left. Perhaps the best known story in this collection is "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed," one of the few pieces Twain ever wrote about his experiences in the Civil War. His friend William Dean Howells, on reading this striking autobiographical narrative, wrote to Twain, "It was immensely amusing, with such a bloody bit of heartache in it". As Anne Bernays writes in her introduction to this volume, "'The Private History of a Campaign That Failed' is a merry tale about shattered innocence and slaughter, unmatched in the care and handling". A fascinating collection of captivating and thoughtful tales.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 282 pages
  • 167.6 x 223.3 x 23.4mm | 617.08g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New ed of 1892 ed
  • 0195101421
  • 9780195101423

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