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From My Bookshelf: Wilkie, Pamela, Huck Finn

The following three books From My Bookshelf are editions from Oxford World’s Classics, an imprint of Oxford University Press. The best way to describe these wonderful editions are of course, in Oxford University Press’ own words: “Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, maps, illustrations and much more.” A thorough introduction, notes on the text, a bibliography, glossary, and if you can believe it, much more accompany each novel. And, less significantly, the pages are of a thin paper that make flipping the pages quite satisfying. Anyway, here are The Woman in WhitePamela, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The Woman in White | Wilkie Collins | Oxford World's ClassicsThe Woman in White Wilkie Collins

I will admit that I primarily purchased Wilkie Collins’ masterpiece because I already had the OWC edition of Pamela, although it has been on my TBR list for some time. There is a disclaimer before the Introduction: “Wilkie Collins prefaced the first book issue of The Woman in White with the request that reviewers not give away details of his plot. Readers who want to experience the original impact of the novel’s suspense should treat teh followign introduction as an afterword,” and if that doesn’t want you to dive into this book, the blurb certainly will: “The Woman in White (1859-60) is the first and greatest ‘Sensation Novel’. Walter Hartwright’s mysterious midnight encounter with a strange woman draws him into a vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue.”

Pamela | Samuel Richardson | Oxford World's ClassicsPamela Samuel Richardson

You know that book (or books) on your shelf that is filled with annotations and sticky tabs, and regardless of this you can’t recall a single detail of the book? Well, this is that book on my shelf. I read this for a class in college, and while I remember a few details about Samuel Richardson (novelist, printer, victim of piracy), the contents of this novel has escaped me. Here is a snippet of the blurb on the back cover of my Oxford World’s Classics edition: “Written in the voice of its low-born heroine, but by a printer who fifteen years earlier had narrowly escaped imprisonment for the seditious output of his press, Pamela is not only a work of pioneering psychological complexity, but also a compelling and provocative study of power and its abuse.”

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain | Oxford World's ClassicsAdventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

Any Jonathan Taylor Thomas fans out there? Yes, “Tom and Huck” is really the only capacity in which I know about Huckleberry Finn, and I remember Tom Sawyer (JTT) being the less wild of the two. Yikes, my apologies Mr. Twain *runs off to read and make amends*. Thank you for that movie, Disney, and for this blurb, OWC: “Enormously influential in the development of American literature, Huckleberry Finn remains a controversial novel at the centre of impassioned debate. This edition discusses all the current issues, and the evolution of Mark Twain’s penetrating genius.”


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