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A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court : Penguin Classics - Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court

Penguin Classics

Paperback

Published: 24th June 1976
For Ages: 18+ years old
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When Connecticut mechanic and foreman Hank Morgan is knocked unconscious, he wakes not to the familiar scenes of nineteenth-century America but to the bewildering sights and sounds of sixth-century Camelot. Although confused at first and quickly imprisoned, he soon realises that his knowledge of the future can transform his fate. Correctly predicting a solar eclipse from inside his prison cell, Morgan terrifies the people of England into releasing him and swiftly establishes himself as the most powerful magician in the land, stronger than Merlin and greatly admired by Arthur himself. But the Connecticut Yankee wishes for more than simply a place at the Round Table. Soon, he begins a far greater struggle: to bring American democratic ideals to Old England. Complex and fascinating, "A Connecticut Yankee" is a darkly comic consideration of the nature of human nature and society.

About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

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

Prefacep. ix
A Word of Explanationp. 1
Camelotp. 7
King Arthur's Courtp. 9
Knights of the Table Roundp. 14
Sir Dinadan the Humoristp. 18
An Inspirationp. 21
The Eclipsep. 26
Merlin's Towerp. 31
The Bossp. 36
The Tournamentp. 41
Beginnings of Civilizationp. 46
The Yankee in Search of Adventurep. 50
Slow Torturep. 56
Freemen!p. 60
"Defend Thee, Lord!"p. 67
Sandy's Talep. 70
Morgan Le Fayp. 77
A Royal Banquetp. 82
In the Queen's Dungeonsp. 90
Knight-Errantry as a Tradep. 98
The Ogre's Castlep. 101
The Pilgrimsp. 107
The Holy Fountainp. 117
Restoration of the Fountainp. 125
A Rival Magicianp. 132
A Competitive Examinationp. 141
The First Newspaperp. 151
The Yankee and the King Travel Incognitop. 160
Drilling the Kingp. 166
The Smallpox Hutp. 170
The Tragedy of the Manor Housep. 175
Marcop. 183
Dowley's Humiliationp. 189
Sixth-Century Political Economyp. 195
The Yankee and the King Sold as Slavesp. 205
A Pitiful Incidentp. 214
An Encounter in the Darkp. 220
An Awful Predicamentp. 223
Sir Lancelot and Knights to the Rescuep. 229
The Yankee's Fight with the Knightsp. 231
Three Years Laterp. 242
The Interdictp. 246
War!p. 250
The Battle of the Sand Beltp. 260
A Postscript by Clarencep. 271
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140430646
ISBN-10: 0140430644
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 24th June 1976
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1