and Those Extraordinary Twins
‘Tom got all the petting, Chambers got none. Tom got all the delicacies, Chambers got mush and milk’
Determined that her baby son Tom shall not share her fate and remain in slavery, Roxy secretly exchanges him with his playmate Chambers, the son of her master. The two boys’ lives in the quiet Missouri town of Dawson’s Landing remain entwined even though they take very different directions. The indulged Tom (now heir to a fortune rightfully that of Chambers) goes to Yale, where he learns how to drink and gamble, while Chambers looks set to remain a subservient drudge. But then a strange sequence of events begins – one in which the much-derided lawyer, ‘Pudd’nhead’ Wilson, has a key part to play – and changes everything. Darkly ironic, blending farce and tragedy, Pudd’nhead Wilson is a complex and fascinating depiction of human nature under slavery.
Based on the first edition of 1894, this volume contains an introduction by leading critic Malcolm Bradbury discussing the peculiar circumstances in which Pudd’nhead Wilson was written. It also includes Those Extraordinary Twins, the comic short story from which the novel originates.