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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
Published: Simon & Schuster on May 1, 2007
ISBN: 9781416561583
List price: $4.95
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King Arthur and Sir Lancelot riding bicycles have impressed me deeply when I was a little boy. Whereupon I decided to add to the art of my writing the art of bike riding and to name myself Sir Tarquin.read more
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What happens when a man from 19th century Connecticut suddenly finds himself in the world of King Arthur? He tries to modernize the place, of course. It's a quite humorous look at a man who can outperform the magician Merlin by equipping them with useful gadgets like telephones. He even trains the armed forces with 19th century weaponry. I'm not a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one was just absurd enough to keep me laughing. Twain's imagination in this novel is certainly one of the things that probably endeared him so much as a 19th century humorist. I suspect that a 21st century Connecticut Yankee would be burned at the stake as a witch when he came up with the Internet and other inventions that have transpired in the 125 years or so since the writing of this work.read more
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What a very American book! I read that Mark Twain was writing this as a satire, criticizing the institution of slavery, but for me, it's a bit of a parody of how the Americans go into developing countries around the world and try to muscle through changes in the name of advancement, civilization and democracy, in disregard of local customs, sensitivities, etc. Not that I think that local customs and all the things that are defended in the name of 'local culture' are necessarily good, and in fact the values that Mark Twain is promoting are values that I do agree with in principle, but the gung-ho cowboy way of going into other countries is something distinctly American. Or at least, I think it agrees with the way much of the world views Americans... :p In any case, a bizarre story--I'm not sure what to make of it in the end.read more
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King Arthur and Sir Lancelot riding bicycles have impressed me deeply when I was a little boy. Whereupon I decided to add to the art of my writing the art of bike riding and to name myself Sir Tarquin.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What happens when a man from 19th century Connecticut suddenly finds himself in the world of King Arthur? He tries to modernize the place, of course. It's a quite humorous look at a man who can outperform the magician Merlin by equipping them with useful gadgets like telephones. He even trains the armed forces with 19th century weaponry. I'm not a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one was just absurd enough to keep me laughing. Twain's imagination in this novel is certainly one of the things that probably endeared him so much as a 19th century humorist. I suspect that a 21st century Connecticut Yankee would be burned at the stake as a witch when he came up with the Internet and other inventions that have transpired in the 125 years or so since the writing of this work.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What a very American book! I read that Mark Twain was writing this as a satire, criticizing the institution of slavery, but for me, it's a bit of a parody of how the Americans go into developing countries around the world and try to muscle through changes in the name of advancement, civilization and democracy, in disregard of local customs, sensitivities, etc. Not that I think that local customs and all the things that are defended in the name of 'local culture' are necessarily good, and in fact the values that Mark Twain is promoting are values that I do agree with in principle, but the gung-ho cowboy way of going into other countries is something distinctly American. Or at least, I think it agrees with the way much of the world views Americans... :p In any case, a bizarre story--I'm not sure what to make of it in the end.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I thought I would like this book. I like time travel and I like the legend of King Arthur. It didn't take very long however before I knew I wouldn't like it as much as I expected to. The big reason is that the narrator continually degrades the people of King Arthur's time as lacking intelligence. It's always brought up that he is the smarter one and everyone else is a bit slow. This bothered me. I don't believe in societies being more civilized or less primitive than other societies. As an anthropologist, it is a big deal for me that everyone realizes no societies is superior or inferior to any other society. Now I do realize that this book was written in the late 1800s, which was a time were unilineal evolution was very prevalent (Thinking that societies other than western society are inferior and that they are not yet civilized). And because of this I can see why this superiority is found throughout the book. It still bothers me. :) The book does bring up some very important issues about things like slavery, the effects of caste systems, and taxes. It turned out that was most of what the book was about; social commentary. I didn’t mind that all that much although it did seem to get slightly preachy. There are some fairy funny parts and overall it was an interesting story. But it didn’t really satisfy me. I do think it is a great classic book. There are tons of good discussions that could be pulled from it in classrooms or book discussions. I am glad I finally read it, even if I won’t ever read it again.
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Mark Twain has used the subject of knighthood and King Arthur to write about problems of the nineteenth century. His main character, Hank Morgan, is hit on the head and wakes up in Arthur’s England. With New England ingenuity, he soon has modern conveniences like electricity, schools, telegraph, telephone, railroads, etc. Many of his adventures are hilarious, but several are graphic and heartrending. One of the best sections involves the quest to free friends of Lady Alisande la Carteloise who have been enchanted by ogres. This is the same Sandy who speaks in very long sentences, at least a page or two in length, and puts most everyone to sleep!When I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court as a teenager, I was caught up in the Camelot mystique and did not choose to recognize the issues that Twain was trying to preach to his audience. Slavery was still raw in this country; there was a wide gulf between the haves and have-nots; education was not free to all. The established church also did not far well in this novel. (The Boss wanted to replace the Catholic Church with a free-form system of Protestant churches.) By far, the most interesting section was the lesson on economics where the wages paid to a worker and the price of goods could make the less-well paid worker much better off. But most disturbing to me was the wanton killing – life was cheap and not really valued. The nobility killed and cared not. Even Hank kills many knights and doesn’t seem to see the parallels. But just maybe, this is one of the things that Twain wants us to notice - this and the parallels to life in the author’s day.Reading this book may make you uncomfortable but it will make you think. It was well worth the re-reading these many years later.
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I'm not going to give this a rating because I don't think I was in the right state of mind to read this. I struggled to read every page of it.
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