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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Courtby Mark Twain
Synopses & Reviews
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 Trade Paperback edition.
Nineteenth-century mechanic Hank Morgan suffers a blow to the head and wakes up in King Arthur's Court where he tries to introduce modern technology and political ideas to the inhabitants.
This novel tells the story of Hank Morgan, the quintessential self-reliant New Englander who brings to King Arthur’s Age of Chivalry the “great and beneficent” miracles of nineteenth-century engineering and American ingenuity. Through the collision of past and present, Twain exposes the insubstantiality of both utopias, destroying the myth of the romantic ideal as well as his own era’s faith in scientific and social progress.
A central document in American intellectual history, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is at once a hilarious comedy of anachronisms and incongruities, a romantic fantasy, a utopian vision, and a savage, anarchic social satire that only one of America’s greatest writers could pen.
About the Author
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835. He gained national attention as a humorist in 1865 with the publication of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," but was acknowledged as a great writer by the literary establishment with The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (1885). In 1880, Twain began promoting and financing the ill-fated Paige typesetter, an invention designed to make the printing process fully automatic. At the height of his naively optimistic involvement in the technological "wonder" that nearly drove him to bankruptcy, he published his satire, A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT (1889). Plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Mark Twain spent the last years of his life in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."
From the Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
Word of explanation — Camelot — King Arthur's court — Knights of the table round — Sir Dinadan the humorist — Inspiration — Eclipse — Merlin's tower — Boss — Tournament — Beginnings of civilization — Yankee in search of adventure — Slow torture — Freemen! — "Defend Thee, lord!" — Sandy's tale — Morgan Le Fay — Royal banquet — In the queen's dungeons — Knight-errantry as a trade — Ogre's castle — Pilgrims — Holy fountain — Restoration of the fountain — Rival magician — Competitive examination — First newspaper — Yankee and the king travel incognito — Drilling the king — Smallpox hut — Tragedy of the manor house — Marco — Dowley's — humiliation — Sixth-century political economy — Yankee and the king sold as slaves — Pitiful Incident — Encounter in the dark — Awful predicament — Sir Lancelot and knights to the rescue — Yankee's fight with the knights — Three years later — Interdict — War! — Battle of the sand belt — Postscript by Clarence.
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