Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Connections - Huckleberry Finn and Angle of Repose

D is currently reading Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Maybe I can persuade him to write about it when he's finished it. In the meantime he keeps telling me bits - I've not read it yet - and looking on Google Earth at the Mississippi. This morning I learnt that Huck and Jim who are looking for Cairo have just got up to where the old Muddy meets the clear water of the Ohio River and lo and behold we could see that clearly on Google Earth. I didn't know there's a Cairo in the USA. Huckleberry Finn is a good follow up to Wilberforce (D and I both read that for the Book Group - see my earlier post) as Jim is a runaway slave, making for freedom in the northern states.

I'm reading Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose in the mornings (when D reads Huck) and have come across references to Huckleberry Finn in that. Stegner's book is based directly on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, fictionalised as Susan Burling Ward. Susan contributed to the Century magazine in the same issue of February 1885 which contained the final installment of The Aventures of Huckleberry Finn. This morning whilst D was reading about Huck reaching the Ohio River I was reading about Susan meeting and talking to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), who was the principal speaker in honour of General Ulysses Grant at a banquet in Chicago.

I think I read about the Stegner book on a blog, but didn't note which blog. So, thank you to whoever it was - I am enjoying this book.


danielle said...

I am hoping to read Angle of Repose this year as well. I have heard good things about him as well.

Ted said...

Angle of Repose is just wonderful writing, I hope you both enjoy it! I'm also a huge fan of Stegner's Crossing To Safety, if you like AOR.

Nan - said...

What a magical connection between the two books! Do you suppose that Foote is an ancestor of the great (late) Shelby Foote?

BooksPlease said...

Danielle, I'd like to hear what you think of Agle of Repose when you get round to reading it.
Ted, welcome. I'll look out for Crossing to Safety.
Nan, well that's the wonder of reading and talking about books as well. I don't know about Shelby Foote's family history - but that's another thing about reading, one book leads to many others.

litlove said...

I read Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety earlier in the year and absolutely adored it. Made me cry buckets, though!