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The Prince and the Pauper (1881)

by Mark Twain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,28568859 (3.69)174
When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, each learns something about the other's very different station in life.
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» See also 174 mentions

English (64)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I knew I would like this book, I just didn't know how much.
The story is quite predictable, but the characters are good enough to make you interested in their misadventures anyways. I laughed quite a few times due to some of the situations the characters were in and their reactions to it. The story also has dark moments that show the differences between rich and poor and the injustice of the world. I enjoyed the small notes about historical events that were used on this book as well.
I really liked the main characters, Tom Canty and Edward. They were so different from each other but deep down they were both kind and merciful. Miles Hendon was ok and the scene with the hermit actually scared me.
It is the first book I've read by Mark Twain and makes me want to read others, but I'm not sure if I would enjoy them as much. ( )
  elderlingfae | Aug 11, 2022 |
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
Twain included a lot of discussion about the horrific punishments of the day: being hung, drawn and quartered, lowered alive into boiling oil, placed in the stocks, whipped, and burned at the stake. There is also child abuse as Tom is beaten by his father (who then beats his mother and little sisters when they try to defend him). I would not read it to a small child. Better saved for the teen years. ( )
  barbarichsteve | Jun 18, 2022 |
Mark Twain's classic tale of two identical-looking boys -- the prince and pauper of the title -- who switch clothes for a lark, only to find themselves trapped in each other's roles, with no one able or willing to believe they really are who they say they are.

I first read this when I was about ten, and I hadn't remembered it particularly well. Indeed, I think I had the sense that it was some sort of vaguely ahistorical fairy tale, when it's actually quite firmly grounded in English history -- the prince in question is Edward VI -- complete with historical quotations and footnotes.

I do have the feeling that I enjoyed it well enough as a kid, and I'm pleased to report that's also true on an adult re-read. It's an entertaining enough tale, especially the twists and turns of the true prince's unhappy adventures. There's also humor here, of course, although it mostly feels rather low-key, compared to the sharp, acerbic wit Twain was sometimes capable of.

Not at all low-key, though, are the vivid contrasts between the absurdly lavish pomp of the prince's world and the brutal, unjust squalor of the pauper's. Nor is the obvious equality of spirit between the two boys. As social commentary goes, it's something of a blunt instrument, perhaps, but an effective one, all the same. ( )
3 vote bragan | Jun 13, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (140 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Twain, Markprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitzpatrick, Lucy MabryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hatherell, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ibeas, Juan ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawson, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Kenneth S.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayan, EarlIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spier, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tine, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weerdt-Schellekens, H.M. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, SteveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
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 0451418352 is for New Leaf by Catherine Anderson
ISBN 0451516281 is for the omnibus The Prince and the Pauper; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
ISBN 0140436693 is a Penguin edtion of The Prince and the Pauper.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, each learns something about the other's very different station in life.

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Average: (3.69)
1 15
1.5 4
2 66
2.5 12
3 288
3.5 59
4 430
4.5 22
5 176

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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