Mark Twain at the Gallows

Crime and Justice in His Western Writing, 1861–1873

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About the Book

This book is a literary exploration of Mark Twain’s writings on crime in the American West and its intersection with morality, gender and justice. Writing from his office at the Enterprise newspaper in the Nevada Territory, Twain employed a distinct style of crime writing— one that sensationalized facts and included Twain’s personal philosophies and observations. Covering Twain’s journalism, fictional works and his own personal letters, this book contextualizes the writer’s coverage of crime through his anxieties about westward expansion and the promise of a utopian West. Twain’s observations on the West often reflected common perceptions of the day, positioning him as a “voice of the people” on issues like crime, punishment and gender.

About the Author(s)

Jarrod Roark researches crime, punishment and gender performance in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, specifically in the works of Mark Twain and antebellum writers. He teaches literature and writing at St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Jarrod D. Roark
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7973-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3805-8
Imprint: McFarland