He had a Dream and It Shot Him: Mark Twain and Huck Finn in Post-Civil War America


Meeting Room A

Twain Tuesday - May 2

Most Americans know the name Mark Twain; as children, many of us read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as well as a few of his more than two dozen other novels and short stories. None of them created controversy, however, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Among his most popular novels, critics consider it to be one of America’s greatest literary works. So, what about the book made it so controversial? Why was Twain’s credibility as an author and humorist called into question when it was published? And perhaps more importantly, for us, why are we still debating the merits of Huck Finn in the 21st Century? This program investigates how the Civil War, Victorian social attitudes, and Twain’s own experiences combined to provide inspiration for a book that has remained popular –- and controversial -– for more than 130 years.

Our spring Classics Club selection is Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn! You'll appreciate a little background on this complicated story, so join us for our first Twain Day Tuesday and a program by local historian Kathy Wilson where she'll put the characters and events in their historical context. Plenty of time for Q&A. You'll be amazed at how relevant Huckleberry Finn and Mark Twain are for us today!  

Other programs: 

  • Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 - Movie night
  • Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30 - Book discussion