Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was such a treat! I love the way Mark Twain creates memorable characters and his wonderful use of dialect. This is the story of a young lawyer who stumbles over a local social taboo and is dubbed Pudd'nhead from then on. He never gets to practice law and spends his time taking fingerprints and even reading palms. For the first part of the book, he is just a periphal character, but it is he that wins in the end.
While that is happening, there is a spoof on slavery where the almost white slave has a son who is only 32 degree colored and is almost identical with the son of the master. When his mother becomes wet nurse to the son of the house, who has been born at the same time and whose mother died in childbirth the situation is set. The babies are nearly identical and there is no doting mother around the young master so the slave mother switches the babies.
Then into the town comes a set of twins who write ahead for accomodations explaining that they are Italian Counts and will only need one room and one bed. The reason is apparent as soon as they arrive...they are conjoined twins. The addition of the twins makes the story hilarious, but in the end, there is a serious point made and Pudd'nhead Wilson is the hero of the day.
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