The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain

Subject Guide

Kingwood College Library

Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain,  his pseudonym,  (1835-1910) was raised in Hannibal, Missouri.  He served in the Confederate militia during the Civil War, and he later worked as a typesetter, a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, and a newspaper reporter. In 1884, Twain published the novel about Huckleberry Finn.




Web Sites


Electronic Text

    The novel begins where The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ended, sometime between 1834 and 1844.  Huckleberry is living in St. Petersburg, Missouri, with the widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who adopted him and are trying to civilize him.   The adventure begins when Hucks dad, Pap, kidnaps him.  They begin traveling up the river to Illinois.   Huck escapes from Pap (who has locked Huck in a cabin) and fakes his own death.  While hiding on Jackson Island, Huck meets Jim, a runaway slave. Traveling down the Mississippi River together, Huck and Jim are joined by two con men, the King and the Duke.


 Huckleberry Finn -- 14 years old, son of Pap, the town drunk

Widow Douglas -- adopted Huck to provide him a stable home

Jim -- runaway slave, travels down the Mississippi with Huck

the King and the Duke -- con men who join Huck and Jim on their journey


Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles

The following databases are available for students to access articles about the novel.  Please select peer reviewed or scholarly articles.  Many articles are full text.

MLA Bibliography
Literature Resource Center
Ebsco Academic Search Premier
ProQuest PAResearchII

Remote access is available for Kingwood College students.  Use your college library card barcode number.  Many journal articles are full text.  The New York Times is available online from 1851 to the present.  Find early articles about Mark Twain in the NYT.

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Search the Library Catalog.

Keywords:  Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens, Huckleberry Finn

REF PS129.A55, vol. 4 American Writers Biographical information about Mark Twain
REF PS21.K8 American Authors Biographical information about Mark Twain
REF PN50.L574, vol. 2 Literature And Its Times Information about the historical setting
REF PS21.M36, vol. 3 Magills Survey of American Literature Overview of the novel
REF PS1330.M37 Mark Twain Encyclopedia Information about Twain and his writings
REF PN3385.N68, vol. 1 Novels for Students General information about the novel
REF PN771.G27 (use index to locate articles) Twentieth Century Literary Criticism Multi-volume set containing excerpts of critical essays about the novel

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Huckleberry Finn on the Internet

Mark Twain in his Times

Articles, contemporary reviews, images and interactive sites about the novel written by Stephen Railton, English Dept., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Mark Twain's Interactive Scrapbook

Interactive scrapbook about Mark Twain from PBS. "Discover the true Mark Twain through his writing and his collection of artifacts in his scrapbook.

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Interesting Themes to Consider

Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library Duke University

Huckleberry Finn offers many themes for the researcher.  Talk with your instructor about this.  Here are a few ideas we like. 


Freedom for Jim, the runaway slave

Hucks struggle with his conscience

Race and racism



Pictures from Duke University.

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updated 10/29/02