A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

by Mark Twain
Introduction by Roy Blount
Illustrator Daniel Carter Beard

Random House Publishing Group | December 4, 2001 | Trade Paperback

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.
Hank Morgan awakens one morning to find he has been transported from nineteenth-century New England to sixth-century England and the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Morgan brings to King Arthur’s utopian court the ingenuity of the future, resulting in a culture clash that is at once satiric, anarchic, and darkly comic.

Critically deemed one of Twain’s finest and most caustic works, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is both a delightfully entertaining story and a disturbing analysis of the efficacy of government, the benefits of progress, and the dissolution of social mores. It remains as powerful a work of fiction today as it was upon its first publication in 1889.

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: December 4, 2001

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375757805

ISBN - 13: 9780375757808

Found in: Classics

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hilarious Don't let the three stars deceive you, I enjoyed this book immensely! Some of the passages literally had me laughing out loud. I love Twain's wit. It catches you off guard, and just takes you for a spin. In the words of G.K. Chesterton: "In all those excruciating tales of [Twain's], which in our youth made us ill with laughing, the idea always consisted in carrying some small fact or notion to more and more frantic lengths of deduction. If a man's hat was as high as a house Mark Twain would think of some way of calling it twenty times higher than a house. If his hat was smashed as flat as a pancake, Mark Twain would invent some startling and happy metaphor to prove that it was smashed twenty times flatter than a pancake." The illustrations in this edition are beautiful as well. A word of caution: in my personal opinion, this book is not a children's book. It's signature Twain, but it's not Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, that's for sure. I tried reading it when I was younger, and besides it being downright discombobulating due to the archaic language that he employed in many of the passages, some of the stories told throughout were rather upsetting. The depictions of torture, slavery, slow painful deaths, and other generally discomfiting things that would have taken place in the Arthurian era are rather vividly and coldly described. I eventually stopped reading it at that point in time. Also, you have to remember that it's a satire. The book is full of long, dry rants against nobility and the Catholic Church. Some of it I found interesting, some of it was grinding to get through, but all in all, upon rereading this as an adult, I can definitely say that it was worth it, and I'd recommend it.
Date published: 2013-05-21

– More About This Product –

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

by Mark Twain
Introduction by Roy Blount
Illustrator Daniel Carter Beard

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: December 4, 2001

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375757805

ISBN - 13: 9780375757808

Read from the Book

Chapter I Camelot Camelot-Camelot," said I to myself. "I don''t seem to remember hearing of it before. Name of the asylum, likely." It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as Sunday. The air was full of the smell of flowers, and the buzzing of insects, and the twittering of birds, and there were no people, no wagons, there was no stir of life, nothing going on. The road was mainly a winding path with hoofprints in it, and now and then a faint trace of wheels on either side in the grass-wheels that apparently had a tire as broad as one''s hand. Presently a fair slip of a girl, about ten years old, with a cataract of golden hair streaming down over her shoulders, came along. Around her head she wore a hoop of flame-red poppies. It was as sweet an outfit as ever I saw, what there was of it. She walked indolently along, with a mind at rest, its peace reflected in her innocent face. The circus man paid no attention to her; didn''t even seem to see her. And she-she was no more startled at his fantastic make-up than if she was used to his like every day of her life. She was going by as indifferently as she might have gone by a couple of cows; but when she happened to notice me, then there was a change! Up went her hands, and she was turned to stone; her mouth dropped open, her eyes stared wide and timorously, she was the picture of astonished curiosity touched with fear. And there she stood gazing, in a sort of stupefied fascin
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From the Publisher

Hank Morgan awakens one morning to find he has been transported from nineteenth-century New England to sixth-century England and the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Morgan brings to King Arthur’s utopian court the ingenuity of the future, resulting in a culture clash that is at once satiric, anarchic, and darkly comic.

Critically deemed one of Twain’s finest and most caustic works, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is both a delightfully entertaining story and a disturbing analysis of the efficacy of government, the benefits of progress, and the dissolution of social mores. It remains as powerful a work of fiction today as it was upon its first publication in 1889.

From the Jacket

Hank Morgan awakens one morning to find he has been transported from nineteenth-century New England to sixth-century England and the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Morgan brings to King Arthur''s utopian court the ingenuity of the future, resulting in a culture clash that is at once satiric, anarchic, and darkly comic.
Critically deemed one of Twain''s finest and most caustic works, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur''s Court is both a delightfully entertaining story and a disturbing analysis of the efficacy of government, the benefits of progress, and the dissolution of social mores. It remains as powerful a work of fiction today as it was upon its first publication in 1889.

About the Author

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot. After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era . He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer. After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartfort, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents
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Editorial Reviews

"Twain is the funniest literary American writer. . . . [I]t must have been a great pleasure to be him."
--George Saunders

Bookclub Guide

1.  How does Hank Morgan change throughout the novel? Is this change for the better, or for worse? How does his speech reflect his change in attitude?

2.  The theme of the “mysterious stranger” (an outsider who enters a community or circle and enacts some kind of disruption) often appears in Twain’s works. How does Hank use his status as an “outsider” to his advantage? What does he bring from the outside that benefits sixth-century England? Into which world does Hank ultimately fit?

3.  What is Hank Morgan’s view of the Catholic church?

4.  Many critics consider A Connecticut Yankee to be Twain’s most flawed work because he simply wanted to do “too much.” Do you agree? If so, why?

5.  Consider the end of the novel. What statement does Twain make with this ending? Do you feel it is a fulfilling way to end the book?

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