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Mark Twain’s Book of Animals

Mark Twain’s Book of Animals

Edited with Introduction, Afterword, & Notes by Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Illustrations by Barry Moser
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnpss
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  • Book Info
    Mark Twain’s Book of Animals
    Book Description:

    Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain's career and elucidates his special attachment to and regard for animals. What may surprise even longtime readers and fans is that Twain was an early and ardent animal welfare advocate, the most prominent American of his day to take up that cause. Edited and selected by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who has also supplied an introduction and afterword,Mark Twain's Book of Animalsincludes stories that are familiar along with those that are appearing in print for the first time.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94448-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-34)

    Animals were integral to Mark Twain’s work as a writer from the first story that earned him national renown to pieces he wrote during his final years that remained unpublished at his death. Twain is famous for having crafted amusing and mordant quips about animals, as well as for having brought to life a cavalcade of animals who are distinctive, quirky, vividly drawn, and memorable. He is less known for being the most prominent American of his day to throw his weight firmly behind the movement for animal welfare.

    Mark Twain’s Book of Animalsbrings together in one volume writings...

  5. Part One: 1850s and 1860s
    (pp. 35-56)

    Bugs! Yes, B-U-G-S! What of the bugs? Why, perdition take the bugs! That is all. Night before last I stood at the little press until nearly 2 o’clock, and the flaring gas light over my head attracted all the varieties of bugs which are to be found in natural history, and they all had the same praiseworthy recklessness about flying into the fire. They at first came in little social crowds of a dozen or so, but soon increased in numbers, until a religious mass meeting of several millions was assembled on the board before me, presided over by a...

  6. Part Two: 1870s and 1880s
    (pp. 57-96)

    The cayote is a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolf-skin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth. He has a general slinking expression all over. The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He isalwayshungry. He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. He is so spiritless and...

  7. Part Three: 1890s–1910
    (pp. 97-256)

    The questions you ask me are hard to answer, but I will try. I understand the matter perfectly myself, for I have devoted my whole life to the closest study of it; but I am not sure that I can convey to another, fully and clearly, all I know.

    As a help to my attempt, I must ask you to sponge¹ your mind clear of prejudice, ostensible information and dogly tradition concerning Man and what he is for and why he was invented and whether he is worth while,—in a word make yourself a puppy again, with all which...

  8. Afterword
    (pp. 257-280)

    The issue of man’s treatment of animals acquired greater urgency during the last three decades of the nineteenth century as new books published by Charles Darwin suggested that there might be emotional and intellectual continuities between humankind and the lower animals, in addition to the biological continuities he had put forth inOn the Origin of Species. In 1871, Darwin had claimed inThe Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sexthat “the lower animals are excited by the same emotions as ourselves.”¹ He followed that volume with a book devoted completely to the topic,The Expression of...

  9. Note on the Texts
    (pp. 281-290)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 291-314)
  11. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 315-316)
  12. Index
    (pp. 317-325)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 326-326)