Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Prince and the Pauper (Barnes & Noble…

The Prince and the Pauper (Barnes & Noble Classics) (original 1882; edition 2004)

by Mark Twain, Robert Tine (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,696371,010 (3.66)109
Title:The Prince and the Pauper (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Authors:Mark Twain
Other authors:Robert Tine (Introduction)
Info:Barnes & Noble Classics (2004), Edition: Reissued in This Editon 2004, Paperback, 231 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Literature, Historical Fiction

Work details

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (1882)

  1. 10
    The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (infiniteletters)
  2. 10
    The Parent Trap by Vic Crume (Sasha_Doll)
    Sasha_Doll: Sure, it's twice a movie, but the vintage scholastic version of The Parent Trap is a really fun read for people who enjoy it when two kids switch places.
  3. 00
    Johan et Pirlouit, tome 8 : Le Sire de Montrésor by Peyo (Artymedon)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 109 mentions

English (34)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
You can't get what you want unless you see it through someone else's eyes first. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
For Christmas, I ordered an mp3 player (Library of Classics) that was pre-loaded with 100 works of classic literature in an audio format. Each work is in the public domain and is read by amateurs, so the quality of the presentation is hit or miss.

The premise of The Prince and The Pauper is ages old; two people from wildly divergent ways of life switch places, with predictable consequences. This is a very simple and short story, the protagonists being Edward VI, first Prince of Wales and then King of England, and a penniless ragamuffin. The Prince thinks the carefree lifestyle of the ragamuffin sounds attractive and the pair change clothes and identities.

If you can get past the utterly absurd premise that the two boys were so exactly alike that their mothers and closest friends were unable to detect the switch, there are a few amusing scenarios, but the story soon becomes tiresome and maddeningly repetitive.

Instead of using fictional characters,Twain uses the historical Edward VI as his Prince, implying that the time spent among the lower classes of his kingdom served to make him a more caring and empathetic monarch. Of course, this holds little historical water, as Edward died at the age of fifteen and was never more than a puppet for the power hungry factions that surrounded the throne.

I’m sure there are any number of metaphors and morals to be gleaned from the story, but as simple entertainment, it falls short. ( )
  santhony | Jul 27, 2015 |
This classic story of mixed identity between the boy King Edward VI and pauper Tom Canty is a heartwarming and easy read. Mark Twain's first historical novel, it follows the tradition of of 19th century historical novels in telling as much about the assumptions of the time it was written (1881) as about the time it is set (1547), e.g. in terms of Royal mercy and concern for the poor. The language is a joy to read and this Kindle edition contains all the many illustrations. ( )
  john257hopper | Mar 5, 2015 |
  mrsforrest | Oct 15, 2014 |
After a chance meeting, Edward, Prince of Wales (son of Henry VIII) and poor Tom Canty, curious about what it would feel like to wear the other's clothes, swap clothes. They are both astonished when they look in a mirror and realize their extraordinary likeness. Tom looks like the prince in the prince's clothes, and Edward looks like Tom in Tom's rags. While still wearing Tom's clothes, Prince Edward ends up outside the palace grounds. No one believes him when he says he is the Prince of Wales. No one believes Tom when he says he is not the prince. Their inability to recognize faces and surroundings that should be familiar is blamed on a fit of madness. Then Henry VIII dies, and both boys despair of ever going back to their rightful places.

Although I've been familiar with the basic plot for as long as I can remember, this is the first time I've read the story. I had formed an impression that the prince was a fictional character, so I was surprised when he turned out to be Edward VI. (I have no doubt that Tom Canty is fictional, though!) If I had known how much I would enjoy the story, I wouldn't have put it off for so long. Even though the outcome is never in doubt, each boy's adventures in the other's world kept me a captivated listener. The only negative feature worth noting is the overly flowery language, which doesn't seem anywhere close to authentic. While this is a classic of children's literature, the language will probably cause many 21st century young readers to lose interest before the plot takes hold of them. ( )
  cbl_tn | Aug 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (141 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Twainprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitzpatrick, Lucy MabryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hatherell, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Kenneth S.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayan, EarlIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spier, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weerdt-Schellekens, H.M. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, SteveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in


Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The quality of mercy...is twice bless'd; / It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes; / 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes / The throned monarch better than his crown. --The Merchant of Venice
To / those good-mannered and agreeable children / Susie and Clara Clemens / this book / is affectionately inscribed / by their father.
First words
In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name of Canty, who did not want him.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
ISBN 0140436693 is a Penguin edtion of The Prince and the Pauper.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451528352, Mass Market Paperback)

100th anniversary edition

Two boys: the same age, almost the same face. The one difference: Tom Canty is a child of the London slums; Edward Tudor is heir to the throne. How insubstantial this difference is becomes clear when a chance encounter leads to an exchange of clothing and of roles...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:48 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When young Edward VI of England and Tom Canty, a poor boy who looks just like him, exchange places, each learns a valuable lesson about the other's very different station in life in sixteenth-century England.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 27 descriptions

Legacy Library: Mark Twain

Mark Twain has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Mark Twain's legacy profile.

See Mark Twain's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.66)
1 13
1.5 4
2 39
2.5 11
3 182
3.5 46
4 284
4.5 15
5 104


11 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,171,637 books! | Top bar: Always visible