chapter  1
19 Pages

Articles for Sale

Excerpting Huckleberry Finn in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine
WithThomas Vranken

In the months before he released his full novel in the United States, Mark Twain published three extracts from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. Snippets carefully selected by the Century’s editor, these extracts operated a little like modern-day teasers designed to whet the reader’s imaginative appetite and thus encourage that reader to buy Twain’s forthcoming book. This mercantilism, Chapter One argues, was further reinforced by the broader free-market ideology of the Century – a journal whose Gilded Age obsession with the acquisition of property holds intriguing implications for both the magazine’s depiction of Jim and Huckleberry Finn’s broader approach to the ethics and economics of slavery.