MOST  of  the  adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or
two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were
schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but
not from an individual-he is a combination of the characteristics of three
boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of
The odd superstitions touched upon were all prevalent among children
and slaves in the West at the period of this story-that is to say, thirty
or forty years ago.
Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and
girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for
part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they
once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and
what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.

The author.
Hartford, 1876.