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A young sea Captain, new to both his ship and crew, finds a naked man holding onto the side of the ship one night. Hiding the man, Leggatt, in his cabin the Captain learns of Leggatt's murderous past. The two develop a bond and the Captain continues to conceal Leggett's presence. But how long can he be kept hidden from suspicious crew members? What will happen when the skipper from Leggatt's ship visits? Can Leggatt escape the ship or himself?
This was Goethe's first major success, though it also lead to some difficulties. It started "Werther Fever"; some young men so identified with Werther that that they began dress like him. It also lead to more than 2,000 copycat suicides. The problem became so concerning to the authorities that a rival 'happy ending' was published by Friedrich Nicolai, another author. Goethe was incensed and published a poem in which Nicolai defecates on Werther's grave, starting a literary war that lasted all his life.
First impressions can so often be wrong. And impressions are so often influenced by prevailing social perceptions. What happens when a series of identities in a murder case cannot be assured? How can others determine your identity when you can't even identify your own? The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson is a detective story that explores these issues in a time before the American Civil War in a Missouri town along the Mississippi River. Complex. Compelling. Classic.
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