NAUHEIM AND THE PRINCE OF WALES
Clemens was able to write pretty steadily that summer in Nauheim and turned off a quantity of copy. He completed several short articles and stories, and began, or at least continued work on, two books—’Tom Sawyer Abroad’ and ’Those Extraordinary Twins’—the latter being the original form of ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’. As early as August 4th he wrote to Hall that he had finished forty thousand words of the “Tom Sawyer” story, and that it was to be offered to some young people’s magazine, Harper’s Young People or St. Nicholas; but then he suddenly decided that his narrative method was altogether wrong. To Hall on the 10th he wrote:
I have dropped that novel I wrote you about because I saw a more effective way of using the main episode—to wit, by telling it through the lips of Huck Finn. So I have started Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer (still 15 years old) & their friend the freed slave Jim around the world in a stray balloon, with Huck as narrator, & somewhere after the end of that great voyage he will work in that original episode & then nobody will suspect that a whole book has been written & the globe circumnavigated merely to get that episode in in an effective (& at the same time apparently unintentional) way. I have written 12,000 words of this new narrative, & find that the humor flows as easily as the adventures & surprises—so I shall go along and make a book of from 50,000 to 100,000 words.
It is a story for boys, of
course, & I think it will interest any
boy between 8 years & 80.
When I was in New York the other day Mrs. Dodge, editor of St. Nicholas, wrote and offered me $5,000 for (serial right) a story for boys 50,000 words long. I wrote back and declined, for I had other matter in my mind then.
I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys, but will also strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.
Now, this story doesn’t
need to be restricted to a child’s magazine
—it is proper enough for any magazine, I should think, or for a
syndicate. I don’t swear it, but I think so.
Proposed title—New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.