Twain published his famous book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
it met with a less than positive reception.
"New England newspapers and Life
magazine reviewed the book adversely; the Concord (Massachusetts)
Public Library Banned it; and Louisa May Alcott sniffed that if this
was the kind of book Mark Twain thought American girls and boys ought
to read, he should stop writing for them. Huck's questionable
character was such that his 'autobiography' was peddled door-to-door
to rural and small-town purchasers and was not for sale in bookstores.
"The problem was that Huck lied,
stole, and spoke inelegant vernacular language; he smoked, was
disrespectful toward his elders, and lived in a lower-class
environment that was distressingly vulgar. Huck was 'common,' and,
even more outrageous, he seemed to enjoy his shabby condition and
outcast level in society. He was not the model child of traditional
Hamlin Hill in the Introduction to
the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Centennial Facsimile Edition
(1987) Harper & Row, Publishers.
"You don't know
about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of
Tom Sawyer, but that no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain,
and he told the truth mainly."
Twain's famous novel contains, by his own count, seven different
dialects. Twain was, no doubt, a connoisseur of the nuances of