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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's…
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (original 1889; edition 2011)

by Mark Twain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,59591450 (3.71)2 / 277
Member:nathan.phelps
Title:A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Authors:Mark Twain
Info:Simon & Brown (2011), Paperback, 334 pages
Collections:Fiction
Rating:
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (1889)

  1. 40
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Morteana)
  2. 41
    The Practice Effect by David Brin (espertus)
    espertus: A whimsical fast-moving fantasy about a modern scientist who is transported to a seemingly Earth-like feudal society.
  3. 10
    Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper (DWWilkin)
    DWWilkin: One of the first time travel stories
  4. 21
    King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: These novels have some similar plot elements.
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English (86)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  All (91)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Like most readers, I everything I knew about this book came from pop-culture references. I was curious going into out the premise could be dragged out so long.
Dragged is a poor word-choice in this case, as it didn't drag at all. The observations by both the main character those expected to be picked up by the reader were amusing and apt. I really enjoyed this - far moreso than I normally do with Twain's writing. ( )
  benuathanasia | Jan 5, 2017 |
First edition, later printing, olive-green cloth, front panel stamped in black, blue-gray, and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, blue-gray endpapers with floral pattern. Without S between caption on page 59 [BAL 3429]. Broken type on page 341. Front board split. 220 illustrations.

A yankee engineer from Connecticut is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur, where he fools the inhabitants of that time into thinking he is a magician—and soon uses his knowledge of modern technology to become a magician in earnest, stunning the English of the Early Middle Ages with such feats as demolitions, fireworks and the shoring up of a holy well.
  lazysky | Oct 5, 2016 |
Considering that I am a fan of Mark Twain and that I have a deep and abiding love of all things Arthurian, it's a bit surprising that it took me so long to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The story is bookended by Mark Twain himself describing his encounter with Hank Morgan, the titular Yankee, who gives Twain a manuscript of his experience in 6th-century England--King Arthur's England. Hank is a 19th-century man just like Twain but one day finds himself in the 6th Century and promptly captured by Sir Kay. He is thrown in prison and sentenced to death, but by learning the date, he knows that a solar eclipse will occur the following day and uses this knowledge to position himself as a great wizard. Merlin is naturally miffed, and the two are rivals from that time forward.

Through his wisdom and influence upon King Arthur and the nation, he earns the title of The Boss. He cares nothing for the Temporal Prime Directive and sets about creating his own pocket of the 19th century within the 6th. He establishes a newspaper, a telephone service, gun factories, a standing army, a navy, sandwich board advertising, and many more innovations. All throughout The Boss displays a mixture of disdain and amusement toward the people and customs around him. I had hoped that he might be brought down a peg or two for his hubris, but apparently this wasn't that sort of story. His commentary is often funny though, making this a bit like RiffTrax: King Arthur edition. As some of the jokes are about the way that the people of Arthur's England talk (based on the way that medieval writers wrote), it's probably funnier if you're already familiar with the medieval style of narration in these sort of tales of chivalry. Twain even lifts whole sections of description directly from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.

The Boss is a hard character to like, in that he enjoys humiliating people and is rarely forgiving of how the people of the 6th century think and believe, given their education, or lack thereof. That said, I still enjoyed the book. Near the end, when it came to describing the events that led to King Arthur's death (despite the fact that it took a mere two pages to do so and it generally takes several chapters in most Arthurian tales), I couldn't help but be caught up in the emotion of it all. That part of Arthur's story always gets to me though, perhaps because my first introduction to Arthurian literature was part of a packet handed out by my Brit Lit teacher in high school: the final chapter of T.H. White's The Once and Future King, in which the old King thinks back on his life, his achievements and failures, and all that has led up to this final battle, which he knows he will not survive. It breaks my heart every time. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court can be a little dense at times, but I definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to read a book that pokes fun at the oft-times serious genre of medieval romance. ( )
  Jessiqa | Jul 26, 2016 |
Mark Twain's classic time-traveling satire, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court follows Hank Morgan, a northern factory foreman, who finds himself transported back to 6th Century England and uses his 19th century knowledge to elevate himself to the role of The Boss, second only to the King. Much of the story serves to attack institutions in which an elect group concentrates power among themselves and so debases the lower classes that they cannot conceive rising up against it. The slaves Twain portrays in Arthurian England belong less to the 6th century than to 18th and 19th century America. Twain battles superstition as well, writing, "Somehow, every time the magic of fol-de-rol tried conclusions with the magic of science, the magic of fol-de-rol got left" (p. 287). Additionally, Twain's criticisms of the Catholic Church, and institutionalized religion in general, reflect his public comments on the religion and serve to foreshadow the story's grim ending.
Twain clearly loves Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur as he quotes freely from the text, even allowing characters like Sandy to relate tales of knight's exploits in lengthy passages from Malory. Therefore, reading Malory immediately before starting Yankee in King Arthur's Court helps one to better enjoy Twain's references and humor.
This edition from Reader's Digest features gorgeous illustrations by Joseph Ciardiello that capture the absurdity of Twain's story with lavish color and action. The afterword by T.E.D. Klein contextualizes Twain's writing while setting it within the Arthurian canon. The leather binding ensures that this will look wonderful on any bookshelf. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jun 27, 2016 |
This was a funny classic from Mark Twain. The idea was enjoyable and most of the storyline was enjoyable. However, it did seem to drag on during parts. I am used to Twain's writing style so that was not the problem. He just seemed to get caught in words during some parts. I really enjoyed Hank Morgan giving his perspective on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table using his modern" 19th century eye. It was also interesting to read his perspective on the Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere love triangle." ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
just remarks will close the examination straight away! What's more, will confine the advantages
 

» Add other authors (282 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Twainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Banbery, FrederickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beard, Daniel CarterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dietz, NormanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrari, AntongionataIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzpatrick, Lucy MabryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gross, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hearne, JackIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Trina SchartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langton, StuartNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lopez, AbelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez Rilo, RicardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
Camelot—Camelot,” said I to myself. “I don’t seem to remember hearing of it before. Name of the asylum, likely.”
Quotations
There never was such a country for wandering liars; and they were of both sexes.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
ISBN 0812504364 is a Tor edition of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
Adapted by Victor Barnes
ISBN 0486415910 is a Dover Publications edition of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553211439, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When chance brings Edward Tudor and Tom Canty together, they decide for fun to switch clothes and places. Exchanging their roles as heir to the throne of England and as a pauper's son, they learn how the other half really lives.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 23 descriptions

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