Mark Twain: Mississippi Books, Historical Novels, Travel Writing, etc.

The joy of the piece is the skewering of Mallory. There are chapters where the author soars, in hilarious Mark Twain fashion, Lampooning the legends. One chapter, in particular contains a 2 page direct quote from Le Morte d'Arthur. (I haven't read the Mallory for 40 years, either, but I was thinking that it read remarkably Mallory.) The kind of passage where there is breaking of lances, smiting and smoting and dismemberments, from dawn until the noon dinner break; then more smoting and smiting until dusk. Then Twain breaks in, admitting that it was a direct quote and satirizing how ridiculous it is that this class of people have nothing better to do than barge around the countryside bashing each other.

C. S. Lewis loved Malory's Morte, with the reservation that just such passages are not up to the rest. As I recall from my one reading of the whole work, this means that, when you read Malory, you might well skip Arthur's war with Rome and the Tristram material. You'll still get enough "brasting," but will be free of a lot of relatively dull material without harming with interest of what remains.

When I used to teach Malory, this is what I assigned as required reading:

Malory Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript Oxford World’s Classics ISBN 0192824201 We read as follows: Malory: xxxi-iii, 3-80; first paragraph on 95, 118-119, middle of 167 (Gareth and Lancelot); 281-527 (351-372 may be skimmed).
I wonder if your collection dares to contain the unpublishable secret titles. Not to be missed, they can be found online with a bit if digging.

1601 A fireside chat among the court of Elizebeth I, featuring some familiar historical figures. Quite bawdy.


Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism. A hilarious speech given to a men's literary supper club in Paris.
I’ve checked this out Alex, and they are both contained, fortunately. I believe they are exhaustive volumes, so contain everything that is known to survive from Twain.

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