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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Enriched Classics)

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Enriched Classics) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

"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 long. Around her head she wore a hoop of flame-red poppies. It was as sweet an outfit as I ever 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 makeup 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 fascination, till we turned a corner of the wood and were lost to her view. That she should be startled at me instead of at the other man, was too many for me; I couldn't make head or tail of it. And that she should seem to consider me a spectacle, and totally overlook her own merits in that respect, was another puzzling thing, and a display of magnanimity, too, that was surprising in one so young. There was food for thought here. I moved along as one in a dream.

As we approached the town, signs of life began to appear. At intervals we passed a wretched cabin, with a thatched roof, and about it small fields and garden patches in an indifferent state of cultivation. There were people, too; brawny men, with long, coarse, uncombed hair that hung down over their faces and made them look like animals. They and the women, as a rule, wore a coarse tow-linen robe that came well below the knee, and a rude sort of sandals, and many wore an iron collar. The small boys and girls were always naked; but nobody seemed to know it. All of these people stared at me, talked about me, ran into the huts and fetched out their families to gape at me; but nobody ever noticed that other fellow, except to make him humble salutation and get no response for their pains.

In the town were some substantial windowless houses of stone scattered among a wilderness of thatched cabins; the streets were mere crooked alleys, and unpaved; troops of dogs and nude children played in the sun and made life and noise; hogs roamed and rooted contentedly about, and one of them lay in a reeking wallow in the middle of the main thoroughfare and suckled her family. Presently there was a distant blare of military music; it nearer, still nearer, and soon a noble cavalcade wound into view, glorious with plumed helmets and flashing mail and flaunting banners and rich doublets and horsecloths and gilded spearheads; and through the muck and swine, and naked brats, and joyous dogs, and shabby huts it took its gallant way, and in its wake we followed. Followed through one winding alley and then another - and climbing, always climbing - till at last we gained the breezy height where the huge castle stood. There was an exchange of bugle blasts; then a parley from the walls, where men-at-arms, in hauberk and morion, marched back and forth with halberd at shoulder under flapping banners with the rude figure of a dragon displayed upon them; and then the gates were flung open, the drawbridge was lowered, and the head of the cavalcade swept forward under the frowning arches; and we, following, soon found ourselves in a great paved court, with towers and turrets stretching up into the blue air on all the four sides; and all about us the dismount was going on, and much greeting and ceremony, and running to-and-fro, and a gay display of moving and intermingling colors, and an altogether pleasant stir and noise and confusion.

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Jeane, January 26, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
A 19th century engineer gets hit on the head and wakes up in medieval England in King Arthur's court, where he uses his superior knowledge to make himself appear powerful and magical, frightening everyone and landing himself a position as King's advisor. Before long he's practically taken control and uses his ingenuity to introduce technological advances and uproot supersitions. He runs up again Merlin, who is portrayed as a charlatan and fool, but dangerously in the people's favor. More than an adventure story, this book is a satire on English society, criticizing the power of monarchy, poking fun at the knights, ridiculing the ignorance and squalor of medieval society. It is uproariously funny with lots of tongue-in-cheek humor.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416534730
Author:
Twain, Mark
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Arthurian romances
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Arthurian romances -- Adaptations.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Enriched Classic
Series:
Enriched Classics
Publication Date:
20070501
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.19 in 7.875 oz
Children's Book Type:
Miniature

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Enriched Classics) New Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Pocket Books - English 9781416534730 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A nineteenth-century American travels back in time to sixth-century England in this darkly comic social satire.

This Enriched Classic edition includes:

  • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information
  • A chronology of the author's life and work
  • A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
  • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations
  • Detailed explanatory notes
  • Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
  • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
  • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.
"Synopsis" by , ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

A nineteenth-century American travels back in time to sixth-century England in this darkly comic social satire.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

  • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information
  • A chronology of the author's life and work
  • A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
  • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations
  • Detailed explanatory notes
  • Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
  • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
  • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON

"Synopsis" by , This novel of Mark Twain's — "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" — gives us an odd view of the American literary genius: it shows is bent twoward science ficional. Twain developed a close and lasting friendship with scientific wunderkind Nikola Tesla, and the two spent quite a bit of time together (in Tesla's laboratory, among other places). Twain's fascination appears in his time traveler (from contemporary America, yet!), using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England. As with all works of a master lke Tawain, we highly recommend this novel — but just between us, this book is a lot of fun, too. Go ahead, read it now.
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