Illustrations of The 1885 First Edition of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain hired E. W. Kemble to illustrate the 1884 First Edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,* understanding how important that the drawings would be to bringing visual images of the characters to life. After some tough criticisms of the artists first set of images, Twain said that the second set “please me exceedingly.”  Included below are some examples of the pictures which are self-titled. I will run some of the other illustrations, along with some commentaries on the text in some upcoming columns. See all of these illustrations at the University of Virginia Website:




Dr. Murray Ellison received a Master’s in Education from Temple University (1973), a Master’s Degree of Arts in English Literature from Virginia Commonwealth University (2015), and a Doctorate in Education at Virginia Tech (1988). He is married and has three adult daughters. He retired as the Virginia Director of Community Corrections for the Department of Correctional Education in 2009. He is the founder and chief editor of this literary blog and is an editor for the International Correctional Education Journal. He is the Co-Editor of the 2016 book of poetry, Mystic Verses, by Shambhushivananda. He also serves as a board member, volunteer tour guide, poetry judge, and Facilities Planning Committee Coordinator for the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia. He teaches literature classes at the OSHER, Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Richmond; is the organizer and coördinator of The First Fridays Classic Book Club; and is a co-organizer, along with Rebecca Elizabeth Jones, of the VCU Working Titles Book Club. Contact Murray at, or leave a note at the bottom of the post.





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