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Bibliophile price: £1.13
Mark Twain is one of the select band of 19th century writers who are still read today, and the secret of his success is not just his hilarious wit but also the depth of human understanding he displays. His advice "be good and you will be lonesome" has a certain truth, and this book of selections from his writing illustrates the fun children can have from being naughty so long as there is no cruelty in their transgressions. Girls should not make faces at their teacher or steal the boys' chewing gum, but above all they should never tell their mother they are not going to obey orders - better to just go and do it. Boys should never laugh when their victim sits on the tack they have placed on a chair seat. Lies, of course, are out of the question except in the case of most urgent necessity. Twain describes tricks he played when he was young, for instance letting in a swarm of bees on his brother and more seriously skating without permission, not realising the ice was breaking up and his friends' lives were in danger. He had another narrow escape when he disobeyed orders and deliberately got into bed with a measles sufferer. According to Twain, it was the irritation of having the example of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington constantly set before them that drove young Americans to ever more flagrant misconduct. A great read. 123pp, Twain's own witty etchings.

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