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The Prince & The Pauper: [Complete & Illustrated]

The Prince & The Pauper: [Complete & Illustrated]

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The Prince & The Pauper: [Complete & Illustrated]

ratings:
3.5/5 (23 ratings)
Length:
436 pages
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 28, 2015
ISBN:
9789635273928
Format:
Book

Description

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.  On the same day another English child was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him. All England wanted him too.  England had so longed for him, and hoped for him, and prayed God for him, that, now that he was really come, the people went nearly mad for joy.  Mere acquaintances hugged and kissed each other and cried. Everybody took a holiday, and high and low, rich and poor, feasted and danced and sang, and got very mellow; and they kept this up for days and nights together.  By day, London was a sight to see, with gay banners waving from every balcony and housetop, and splendid pageants marching along.  



By night, it was again a sight to see, with its great bonfires at every corner, and its troops of revellers making merry around them.  There was no talk in all England but of the new baby, Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay lapped in silks and satins, unconscious of all this fuss, and not knowing that great lords and ladies were tending him and watching over him—and not caring, either.  But there was no talk about the other baby, Tom Canty, lapped in his poor rags, except among the family of paupers whom he had just come to trouble with his presence.



London was fifteen hundred years old, and was a great town—for that day. It had a hundred thousand inhabitants—some think double as many.  The streets were very narrow, and crooked, and dirty, especially in the part where Tom Canty lived, which was not far from London Bridge.  The houses were of wood, with the second story projecting over the first, and the third sticking its elbows out beyond the second.  The higher the houses grew, the broader they grew.  They were skeletons of strong criss-cross beams, with solid material between, coated with plas-ter.  The beams were painted red or blue or black, according to the owner's taste, and this gave the houses a very picturesque look.  The windows were small, glazed with little diamond-shaped panes, and they opened outward, on hinges, like doors.

The house which Tom's father lived in was up a foul little pocket called Offal Court, out of Pudding Lane.  It was small, decayed, and rickety, but it was packed full of wretchedly poor families. Canty's tribe occupied a room on the third floor.  The mother and father had a sort of bedstead in the corner; but Tom, his grandmother, and his two sisters, Bet and Nan, were not restricted—they had all the floor to themselves, and might sleep where they chose.  There were the remains of a blanket or two, and some bundles of ancient and dirty straw, but these could not rightly be called beds, for they were not organised; they were kicked into a general pile, mornings, and selections made from the mass at night, for service.



Bet and Nan were fifteen years old—twins.  They were good-hearted girls, unclean, clothed in rags, and profoundly ignorant.  Their mother was like them.  But the father and the grandmother were a couple of fiends.  They got drunk whenever they could; then they fought each other or anybody else who came in the way; they cursed and swore always, drunk or sober; John Canty was a thief, and his mother a beggar.  They made beggars of the children, but failed to make thieves of them.  Among, but not of, the dreadful rabble that inhabited the house, was a good old priest whom the King had turned out of house and home with a pension of a few farthings, and he used to get the children aside and teach them right ways secretly. Father Andrew also taught Tom a little Latin, and how to read and write; and would have done the same with the girls, but they were afraid of the jeers of their friends, who could not have endured such a queer accomplishment in them.



ABOUT AUTHOR:

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 — April 21, 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was
Publisher:
Released:
May 28, 2015
ISBN:
9789635273928
Format:
Book

About the author

YAZAR:MURAT UKRAYYetkinlikler:Aynı zamanda bir yazar olan ve yaklaşık genel araştırma konuları ile fizikle ve birleşik alan kramı ile ilgili 2006’dan beri kaleme aldığı yaklaşık 12 eseri bulunan Murat UKRAY, yine bunları kendi kurmuş olduğu çeşitli web siteleri üzerinden, kitaplarını sadece dijital elektronik ortamda, hem düzenli olarak yılda yazmış veya yayınlamış olduğu diğer eserleri de yayın hayatına e-KİTAP ve POD (Print on Demand -talebe göre yayıncılık-) sistemine göre yayın hayatına geçirerek okurlarına sunmayı ilke olarak edinirken; diğer yandan da, projenin SOSYAL yönü olan doğayı korumak amaçlı başlattığı "e-KİTAP PROJESİ" isimli yayıncılık sistemiyle KİTABINI KLASİK SİSTEMLE YAYINLAYAMAYAN "AMATÖR YAZARLAR" için, elektronik ortamda kitap yayıncılığı ile kitaplarını bu sistemle yayınlatmak isteyen PROFESYONEL yayıncılar ve yazarlar için de hemen hemen her çeşit kitabın (MAKALE, AKADEMİK DERS KİTABI, ŞİİR, ROMAN, HİKAYE, DENEME, GÜNLÜK TASLAK) elektronik ortamda yayıncılığının önünü açan e-YAYINCILIĞA 2010 yılı başlarından beri başlamıştır ve halen daha ilgili projeleri yürütmektedir..Aynı zamanda YAZAR KOÇLUĞU ve KUANTUM & BİRLEŞİK ANA KURAMI doğrultusunda, kişisel gelişim uzmanlığı konularında da faaliyet göstermektedir..Çalışma alanları:Köşe yazarlığı yapmak, Profesyonel yazarlık (12 yıldır), Blog yazarlığı, web sitesi kurulumu, PHP Programlama, elektronik ticaret sistemleri, Sanal kütüphane uygulamaları, e-Kitap Uygulamaları ve Yazılımları, Kişisel gelişim, Kuantum mekaniği ve Birleşik Alan teorisi ile ilgili Kuramsal ve Uygulama çalışmaları..


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The Prince & The Pauper - Murat Ukray

Twain

INTRODUCTION

The Great Seal

Chapter I. The birth of the Prince and the Pauper.

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. On the same day another English child was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him. All England wanted him too. England had so longed for him, and hoped for him, and prayed God for him, that, now that he was really come, the people went nearly mad for joy. Mere acquaintances hugged and kissed each other and cried. Everybody took a holiday, and high and low, rich and poor, feasted and danced and sang, and got very mellow; and they kept this up for days and nights together. By day, London was a sight to see, with gay banners waving from every balcony and housetop, and splendid pageants marching along. By night, it was again a sight to see, with its great bonfires at every corner, and its troops of revellers making merry around them. There was no talk in all England but of the new baby, Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay lapped in silks and satins, unconscious of all this fuss, and not knowing that great lords and ladies were tending him and watching over him—and not caring, either. But there was no talk about the other baby, Tom Canty, lapped in his poor rags, except among the family of paupers whom he had just come to trouble with his presence.

Chapter II. Tom's early life.

Let us skip a number of years.

London was fifteen hundred years old, and was a great town—for that day. It had a hundred thousand inhabitants—some think double as many. The streets were very narrow, and crooked, and dirty, especially in the part where Tom Canty lived, which was not far from London Bridge. The houses were of wood, with the second story projecting over the first, and the third sticking its elbows out beyond the second. The higher the houses grew, the broader they grew. They were skeletons of strong criss-cross beams, with solid material between, coated with plaster. The beams were painted red or blue or black, according to the owner's taste, and this gave the houses a very picturesque look. The windows were small, glazed with little diamond-shaped panes, and they opened outward, on hinges, like doors.

The house which Tom's father lived in was up a foul little pocket called Offal Court, out of Pudding Lane. It was small, decayed, and rickety, but it was packed full of wretchedly poor families. Canty's tribe occupied a room on the third floor. The mother and father had a sort of bedstead in the corner; but Tom, his grandmother, and his two sisters, Bet and Nan, were not restricted—they had all the floor to themselves, and might sleep where they chose. There were the remains of a blanket or two, and some bundles of ancient and dirty straw, but these could not rightly be called beds, for they were not organised; they were kicked into a general pile, mornings, and selections made from the mass at night, for service.

Bet and Nan were fifteen years old—twins. They were good-hearted girls, unclean, clothed in rags, and profoundly ignorant. Their mother was like them. But the father and the grandmother were a couple of fiends. They got drunk whenever they could; then they fought each other or anybody else who came in the way; they cursed and swore always, drunk or sober; John Canty was a thief, and his mother a beggar. They made beggars of the children, but failed to make thieves of them. Among, but not of, the dreadful rabble that inhabited the house, was a good old priest whom the King had turned out of house and home with a pension of a few farthings, and he used to get the children aside and teach them right ways secretly. Father Andrew also taught Tom a little Latin, and how to read and write; and would have done the same with the girls, but they were afraid of the jeers of their friends, who could not have endured such a queer accomplishment in them.

All Offal Court was just such another hive as Canty's house. Drunkenness, riot and brawling were the order, there, every night and nearly all night long. Broken heads were as common as hunger in that place. Yet little Tom was not unhappy. He had a hard time of it, but did not know it. It was the sort of time that all the Offal Court boys had, therefore he supposed it was the correct and comfortable thing. When he came home empty-handed at night, he knew his father would curse him and thrash him first, and that when he was done the awful grandmother would do it all over again and improve on it; and that away in the night his starving mother would slip to him stealthily with any miserable scrap or crust she had been able to save for him by going hungry herself, notwithstanding she was often caught in that sort of treason and soundly beaten for it by her husband.

No, Tom's life went along well enough, especially in summer. He only begged just enough to save himself, for the laws against mendicancy were stringent, and the penalties heavy; so he put in a good deal of his time listening to good Father Andrew's charming old tales and legends about giants and fairies, dwarfs and genii, and enchanted castles, and gorgeous kings and princes. His head grew to be full of these wonderful things, and many a night as he lay in the dark on his scant and offensive straw, tired, hungry, and smarting from a thrashing, he unleashed his imagination and soon forgot his aches and pains in delicious picturings to himself of the charmed life of a petted prince in a regal palace. One desire came in time to haunt him day and night: it was to see a real prince, with his own eyes. He spoke of it once to some of his Offal Court comrades; but they jeered him and scoffed him so unmercifully that he was glad to keep his dream to himself after that.

He often read the priest's old books and got him to explain and enlarge upon them. His dreamings and readings worked certain changes in him, by- and-by. His dream-people were so fine that he grew to lament his shabby clothing and his dirt, and to wish to be clean and better clad. He went on playing in the mud just the same, and enjoying it, too; but, instead of splashing around in the Thames solely for the fun of it, he began to find an added value in it because of the washings and cleansings it afforded.

Tom could always find something going on around the Maypole in Cheapside, and at the fairs; and now and then he and the rest of London had a chance to see a military parade when some famous unfortunate was carried prisoner to the Tower, by land or boat. One summer's day he saw poor Anne Askew and three men burned at the stake in Smithfield, and heard an ex-Bishop preach a sermon to them which did not interest him. Yes, Tom's life was varied and pleasant enough, on the whole.

By-and-by Tom's reading and dreaming about princely life wrought such a strong effect upon him that he began to act the prince, unconsciously. His speech and manners became curiously ceremonious and courtly, to the vast admiration and amusement of his intimates. But Tom's influence among these young people began to grow now, day by day; and in time he came to be looked up to, by them, with a sort of wondering awe, as a superior being. He seemed to know so much! and he could do and say such marvellous things! and withal, he was so deep and wise! Tom's remarks, and Tom's performances, were reported by the boys to their elders; and these, also, presently began to discuss Tom Canty, and to regard him as a most gifted and extraordinary creature. Full-grown people brought their perplexities to Tom for solution, and were often astonished at the wit and wisdom of his decisions. In fact he was become a hero to all who knew him except his own family—these, only, saw nothing in him.

Privately, after a while, Tom organised a royal court! He was the prince; his special comrades were guards, chamberlains, equerries, lords and ladies in waiting, and the royal family. Daily the mock prince was received with elaborate ceremonials borrowed by Tom from his romantic readings; daily the great affairs of the mimic kingdom were discussed in the royal council, and daily his mimic highness issued decrees to his imaginary armies, navies, and viceroyalties.

After which, he would go forth in his rags and beg a few farthings, eat his poor crust, take his customary cuffs and abuse, and then stretch himself upon his handful of foul straw, and resume his empty grandeurs in his dreams.

And still his desire to look just once upon a real prince, in the flesh, grew upon him, day by day, and week by week, until at last it absorbed all other desires, and became the one passion of his life.

One January day, on his usual begging tour, he tramped despondently up and down the region round about Mincing Lane and Little East Cheap, hour after hour, bare-footed and cold, looking in at cook-shop windows and longing for the dreadful pork-pies and other deadly inventions displayed there—for to him these were dainties fit for the angels; that is, judging by the smell, they were—for it had never been his good luck to own and eat one. There was a cold drizzle of rain; the atmosphere was murky; it was a melancholy day. At night Tom reached home so wet and tired and hungry that it was not possible for his father and grandmother to observe his forlorn condition and not be moved—after their fashion; wherefore they gave him a brisk cuffing at once and sent him to bed. For a long time his pain and hunger, and the swearing and fighting going on in the building, kept him awake; but at last his thoughts drifted away to far, romantic lands, and he fell asleep in the company of jewelled and gilded princelings who live in vast palaces, and had servants salaaming before them or flying to execute their orders. And then, as usual, he dreamed that he was a princeling himself.

All night long the glories of his royal estate shone upon him; he moved among great lords and ladies, in a blaze of light, breathing perfumes, drinking in delicious music, and answering the reverent obeisances of the glittering throng as it parted to make way for him, with here a smile, and there a nod of his princely head.

And when he awoke in the morning and looked upon the wretchedness about him, his dream had had its usual effect—it had intensified the sordidness of his surroundings a thousandfold. Then came bitterness, and heart-break, and tears.

Chapter III. Tom's meeting with the Prince.

Tom got up hungry, and sauntered hungry away, but with his thoughts busy with the shadowy splendours of his night's dreams. He wandered here and there in the city, hardly noticing where he was going, or what was happening around him. People jostled him, and some gave him rough speech; but it was all lost on the musing boy. By-and-by he found himself at Temple Bar, the farthest from home he had ever travelled in that direction. He stopped and considered a moment, then fell into his imaginings again, and passed on outside the walls of London. The Strand had ceased to be a country-road then, and regarded itself as a street, but by a strained construction; for, though there was a tolerably compact row of houses on one side of it, there were only some scattered great buildings on the other, these being palaces of rich nobles, with ample and beautiful grounds stretching to the river—grounds that are now closely packed with grim acres of brick and stone.

Tom discovered Charing Village presently, and rested himself at the beautiful cross built there by a bereaved king of earlier days; then idled down a quiet, lovely road, past the great cardinal's stately palace, toward a far more mighty and majestic palace beyond—Westminster. Tom stared in glad wonder at the vast pile of masonry, the wide-spreading wings, the frowning bastions and turrets, the huge stone gateway, with its gilded bars and its magnificent array of colossal granite lions, and other the signs and symbols of English royalty. Was the desire of his soul to be satisfied at last? Here, indeed, was a king's palace. Might he not hope to see a prince now—a prince of flesh and blood, if Heaven were willing?

At each side of the gilded gate stood a living statue—that is to say, an erect and stately and motionless man-at-arms, clad from head to heel in shining steel armour. At a respectful distance were many country folk, and people from the city, waiting for any chance glimpse of royalty that might offer. Splendid carriages, with splendid people in them and splendid servants outside, were arriving and departing by several other noble gateways that pierced the royal enclosure.

Poor little Tom, in his rags, approached, and was moving slowly and timidly past the sentinels, with a beating heart and a rising hope, when all at once he caught sight through the golden bars of a spectacle that almost made him shout for joy. Within was a comely boy, tanned and brown with sturdy outdoor sports and exercises, whose clothing was all of lovely silks and satins, shining with jewels; at his hip a little jewelled sword and dagger; dainty buskins on his feet, with red heels; and on his head a jaunty crimson cap, with drooping plumes fastened with a great sparkling gem. Several gorgeous gentlemen stood near—his servants, without a doubt. Oh! he was a prince—a prince, a living prince, a real prince—without the shadow of a question; and the prayer of the pauper-boy's heart was answered at last.

Tom's breath came quick and short with excitement, and his eyes grew big with wonder and delight. Everything gave way in his mind instantly to one desire: that was to get close to the prince, and have a good, devouring look at him. Before he knew what he was about, he had his face against the gate-bars. The next instant one of the soldiers snatched him rudely away, and sent him spinning among the gaping crowd of country gawks and London idlers. The soldier said,—

Mind thy manners, thou young beggar!

The crowd jeered and laughed; but the young prince sprang to the gate with his face flushed, and his eyes flashing with indignation, and cried out,—

How dar'st thou use a poor lad like that? How dar'st thou use the King my father's meanest subject so? Open the gates, and let him in!

You should have seen that fickle crowd snatch off their hats then. You should have heard them cheer, and shout, Long live the Prince of Wales!

The soldiers presented arms with their halberds, opened the gates, and presented again as the little Prince of Poverty passed in, in his fluttering rags, to join hands with the Prince of Limitless Plenty.

Edward Tudor said—

Thou lookest tired and hungry: thou'st been treated ill. Come with me.

Half a dozen attendants sprang forward to—I don't know what; interfere, no doubt. But they were waved aside with a right royal gesture, and they stopped stock still where they were, like so many statues. Edward took Tom to a rich apartment in the palace, which he called his cabinet. By his command a repast was brought such as Tom had never encountered before except in books. The prince, with princely delicacy and breeding, sent away the servants, so that his humble guest might not be embarrassed by their critical presence; then he sat near by, and asked questions while Tom ate.

What is thy name, lad?

Tom Canty, an' it please thee, sir.

'Tis an odd one. Where dost live?

In the city, please thee, sir. Offal Court, out of Pudding Lane.

Offal Court! Truly 'tis another odd one. Hast parents?

Parents have I, sir, and a grand-dam likewise that is but indifferently precious to me, God forgive me if it be offence to say it—also twin sisters, Nan and Bet.

Then is thy grand-dam not over kind to thee, I take it?

Neither to any other is she, so please your worship. She hath a wicked heart, and worketh evil all her days.

Doth she mistreat thee?

There be times that she stayeth her hand, being asleep or overcome with drink; but when she hath her judgment clear again, she maketh it up to me with goodly beatings.

A fierce look came into the little prince's eyes, and he cried out—

What! Beatings?

Oh, indeed, yes, please you, sir.

"Beatings!—and thou so frail and little. Hark ye: before the night come, she shall hie her to the Tower. The King my father"—

In sooth, you forget, sir, her low degree. The Tower is for the great alone.

True, indeed. I had not thought of that. I will consider of her punishment. Is thy father kind to thee?

Not more than Gammer Canty, sir.

Fathers be alike, mayhap. Mine hath not a doll's temper. He smiteth with a heavy hand, yet spareth me: he spareth me not always with his tongue, though, sooth to say. How doth thy mother use thee?

She is good, sir, and giveth me neither sorrow nor pain of any sort. And Nan and Bet are like to her in this.

How old be these?

Fifteen, an' it please you, sir.

The Lady Elizabeth, my sister, is fourteen, and the Lady Jane Grey, my cousin, is of mine own age, and comely and gracious withal; but my sister the Lady Mary, with her gloomy mien and—Look you: do thy sisters forbid their servants to smile, lest the sin destroy their souls?

"They? Oh, dost think, sir, that they have servants?"

The little prince contemplated the little pauper gravely a moment, then said—

And prithee, why not? Who helpeth them undress at night? Who attireth them when they rise?

None, sir. Would'st have them take off their garment, and sleep without—like the beasts?

Their garment! Have they but one?

Ah, good your worship, what would they do with more? Truly they have not two bodies each.

It is a quaint and marvellous thought! Thy pardon, I had not meant to laugh. But thy good Nan and thy Bet shall have raiment and lackeys enow, and that soon, too: my cofferer shall look to it. No, thank me not; 'tis nothing. Thou speakest well; thou hast an easy grace in it. Art learned?

I know not if I am or not, sir. The good priest that is called Father Andrew taught me, of his kindness, from his books.

Know'st thou the Latin?

But scantly, sir, I doubt.

Learn it, lad: 'tis hard only at first. The Greek is harder; but neither these nor any tongues else, I think, are hard to the Lady Elizabeth and my cousin. Thou should'st hear those damsels at it! But tell me of thy Offal Court. Hast thou a pleasant life there?

In truth, yes, so please you, sir, save when one is hungry. There be Punch-and-Judy shows, and monkeys—oh such antic creatures! and so bravely dressed!—and there be plays wherein they that play do shout and fight till all are slain, and 'tis so fine to see, and costeth but a farthing—albeit 'tis main hard to get the farthing, please your worship.

Tell me more.

We lads of Offal Court do strive against each other with the cudgel, like to the fashion of the 'prentices, sometimes.

The prince's eyes flashed. Said

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3.6
23 ratings / 32 Reviews
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  • (3/5)
    I think the majority of readers know the story,the Prince and Pauper who exchange places because of their uncanny resemblance, but I was surprised at the political undertones that were skillfully woven throughout. Twain has shown the cruelty of the time as well as the naivete of the nobility to the hardship inflicted by unjust laws.I usually have a hard time with Classics, but I liked this one.
  • (4/5)
    The well-known story set in 1547, when Crown Prince Edward and the (fictional) neglected, impoverished Tom Canty switch places for fun, as they look surprisingly alike, and find themselves stuck in a role entirely different from anything previously experienced.Written for children but some of the incidents are quite shocking so I'd consider it more suitable for teens (and adults) interested in historical fiction of this era. The author evidently researched well, and the detail feels authentic, though I'm no historian. Some of the descriptions are long-winded, but if one accepts the unlikely premise of the story, it's a believable book, well-written and dramatic. I downloaded mine free from Project Gutenberg, but there are many editions in print and electronic form, as well as various TV/film adaptations of this book.
  • (3/5)
    The Prince and the Pauper reminded me very much of Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. There were last second rescue, unbelievable circumstance, local dialects (or an estimation of them at least) abusive fathers, faithful companions...the list goes on. Unfortunately, I don't think Twain did as good a job tapping into old England as he did to the Mississippi river area.
  • (5/5)
    The Prince and the Pauper is one of those books that part of me always thought I had read because I had seen so many movie adaptations of the book. Some were intended as direct adaptations and others took some significant leeway but they all sort of had a similar vibe. I've always enjoyed Twain but in recent years I've re-realized that I haven't read as many of his novels as I feel I should have. So with that background, I sat down with Prince and the Pauper.In case there are any people unfamiliar with the story, the basic idea is that we are in ~1600s London and there is a young prince who happens to meet a pauper who has an uncanny twin-like resemblance to the prince. Through some unintended circumstances, the prince ends up kicked out of his own castle while the pauper is set up as the prince in his place. Each boy tries to acclimate to his new surroundings and deal with the extreme change in social class. Further complications arise when the King dies and it is announced that the prince is to be crowned King of England.The first thing that struck me with this book was the style. Twain has always been one who is noted for his rhetoric and his use of dialect and style in such a way as to portray the era and culture he is trying to represent. As such, he writes this book with a somewhat stilted and formal narration filled with "thy"s and "thou"s and "wherefore"s. I had no problem with the language, I just wasn't expecting it. Whether or not it actually added to the tone and nature of the book, I'm not quite sure. I don't think it painted the scene quite as much as do the dialog of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer but I was still impressed with his use of vocabulary and style to help convey a certain time period.I also naturally discovered quick differences between the book and the various movie versions. In most of the movie adaptations I've seen, the Prince and Pauper decide to switch places as a sort of game and they are both excited at the idea of swapping roles. In the book, the prince notices their similar appearance and suggests they exchange clothes to see just how similar they might look. The concept of actually exchanging roles never really entered into the discussion and each boy is in fact quite frightened and upset when the exchange occurs.Not being an avid historian, I can't fully speak to Twain's portrayal either of royalty or poverty of the era, but I did feel both a disgust and a compassion upon the poverty stricken of 16th century London. The squalor they were forced to live in was truly unspeakable. What struck me as interesting was the way Twain presented the reality of the situation. Even though the lifestyle was miserable and unhappy, the people had a sense of acceptance and made the best they could out of bad situations. As the prince tried to fit in and adapt to his new circumstances, each time he complained or worried about the filth and poverty he was chided by those around him and they seemed to be accepting and perhaps even unconsciously ignorant of their plight. It's an interesting social idea and seems to push the idea that those who haven't ever known better never really aspire to better or those who see no opportunity for social mobility are content to stay where they are, no matter how awful. I personally think that mindset may be somewhat true but I think more likely is that those living in poverty were frankly just too exhausted and overwhelmed with trying to survive that they seldom had energy to think about was to escape their situation, let alone to devise a method to climb the social ladder.I found myself comparing the life of Twain's prince/pauper in lower class London with Dickens's lower class characters in Oliver Twist or some of his other works. In some ways, I felt like the attitudes of Twain's characters felt a little more realistic but in other instances I felt like Dickens had a better handle on the minds, motivations and actions of the English poor. As I thought about it, I decided that Twain's characters had more "modern" thought processes while Dickens's characters were more likely evocative of a real life citizen of lower class London.The life of the pauper-turned-prince in the palace is interesting but is often treated with much less detail and consideration than our prince-turned-pauper. We see snippets of life in the castle as the pauper tries to understand his new role and become accustomed to being waited on by attendants on all sides. After a variety of worrisome advisement from counselors and even the king, the young pauper finally takes the role upon himself and does his best to pretend at being the prince. Fortunately he has a few trusted advisors. While they don't believe that he is actually a pauper (everyone thinks he's gone mad), they do work to help him carry out his duties with gentle nudges and whispered reminders of proper behavior and etiquette. Once the king dies, the prince is expected to oversee various declarations and judgements and Twain takes this opportunity to provide some "Solomon-like" deliberations in court to showcase the young pauper's compassion as well as his quick thinking and wit.Meanwhile, the prince-turned-pauper finds himself fighting for survival in lower class London and finally making friends with a man who also doesn't believe the change in roles (he also thinks the boy must be crazy) but he pretends to believe and acts to help the prince in a variety of ways. The prince never tries to adapt himself to the world of the lower class. He continually tries to convince everyone of his royal lineage and rights. Naturally this doesn't help his situation get any better and in most cases it results in ridicule or harassment of some type.The high level plot is comical and often used throughout drama and literature. Offhand I can't think how many Shakespearean plays have to do with mistaken or switched identity either with twins or disguise or some other form of subterfuge. Twain uses this oft used trope to bring a lot of light hearted comedy to an investigation of the inequality of social classes and the unbalanced nature of cultural distinctions. The story was very entertaining and had plenty of Twain's quick wit and snarky humor. Beyond the simple humor and the fun, cute story, there is a lot of great material to think about both from social standpoints and from the aspect of literary scholarship. I think it would be entertaining some day to compare Twain's London with Dickens's London or to evaluate Twain's social concerns from this book with any of the various social problems of modern society.I had a lot of fun reading this book and definitely recommend it. The reading, tone and nature of the writing could be very accessible and entertaining to young readers. Some of the language may be harder for elementary school kids but they would likely enjoy having it read to them. Older readers will enjoy the quick wit, nuanced humor and insightful perspectives on social inequality. Overall this is a great book that is definitely overshadowed by Twain's larger works and as such is likely often overlooked. While it may not be quite as rich as Twain's more impactful books, it definitely stands on its own as a solid classic.4.5 out of 5 stars
  • (4/5)
    I loved the details in this book a lot. I could really see the dirty details of London in that era, from the description.
  • (4/5)
    You can't get what you want unless you see it through someone else's eyes first.
  • (2/5)
    I think I just did not like the style, or maybe it is because I knew the concept of the story, but I had a very hard time pay attention to this one even though I liked the narrator's voice and he did an great job narrating. I tried reading it when I was younger, and could not get into it then, either.
  • (4/5)
    Most people are familiar with the basic situation of this classic story, but there is much more to Twain's original version than to its many adaptations. Of course, the crucial fact of these two boys being born in such different circumstances at the same time and identical in appearance and meeting as they do is pretty fabulous, but then, it is intended as a fable. At root, this is a story about the arbitrariness of hereditary nobility in general and monarchy in particular, and in true Twain fashion there are many biting and hilarious scenes. However, Twain fails to be true to his own theme in his resolution, which basically amounts to "...and despite what you would expect from everything that's happened so far, they all lived happily ever after." It would have been much more powerful and memorable had they failed to prove their true identities and the pauper had remained king, and the king a pauper...but I suppose a lot of readers wouldn't have liked that ending (which would have been the point!). But in any case, Twain's story is well worth reading just as it is.
  • (3/5)
    Although the kids had a hard time following the story (just like with Shakespeare, must be the Old English) this was a really good book. We just paused periodically to make sure that everyone was up to speed. This was not at all what I expected from Mark Twain although it did bear his hallmark humor. It was like a Tom and Huck scheme gone wrong with thees and thous. It was a much more in depth story than what you might suppose if all you had been exposed to is the animated versions. I was pleased and entertained.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Audiobook - Edward VI, Prince of Wales, meets a poor boy named Tom Canty who looks just like him. They trade clothes for fun, which results in the true prince being kicked out of the castle and Tom being confused for the prince. Edward roams around the city being abused by Tom's father, captured and forced to steal by a band of thieves, and getting arrested twice. He learns the true plight of his poorest subjects, which allows him to eventually become a kind and fair king. Tom learns, um, how to behave at a fancy dinner party?The general plot - a poor person and a rich person look alike and trade lives - is timeless and well-known. The details of the plot are just decent historical fiction. It's an interesting look into 1540s England, but not much more. It would have been nice if Tom had learned some kind of lesson in the end, too, like valuing his mother and sister or something. But nope. The narrator, Steve West, was very good, especially considering the dialogue is all Tudor-era-appropriate.
  • (3/5)
    The basic story line offered so much potential for compelling social commentary. However, Twain's effort really accomplished little more than a mildly entertaining novel. While an enjoyable read, particularly for its description of 16th century English society, I was disappointed at the lack of sophistication.
  • (4/5)
    I remember enjoying this book as a child (although I can't remember what age) and since my son is interested in Mark Twain, we listened to the audiobook on a recent road trip. It was a little bit more complicated than I remembered, and frankly we both had trouble following parts of the story, but perhaps that is a challenge of audiobooks compared with print. The basic story is well-known in which the poor and abused Tom Canty meets Prince Edward and discovering they resemble one another, swap clothing. Through a comedy of errors, they are separated and end up with Tom unwillingly becoming king and the prince having to live life at the very bottom of society. All works out in the end, and Twain is probably too kind on Edward VI's actual legacy as king, but the book delves into some of the gritty realities of impoverished masses and the court intrigues of the elites.
  • (5/5)
    I could have sword I had read this years ago, but it felt fresh to me when I read it on DailyLit this time. Twain is such a genius! I loved this little story with so much depth and humor. I was also surprised to see how much historical research went into it. This is recommended to everyone.
  • (3/5)
    "The Prince and the Pauper" is a simple read and has a fairly predictable ending; I don't think it will knock anyone's socks off, but it is well written and a bit of a classic. Twain's original concept of switching roles and fortunes is also one that has been often copied (e.g. the movie "Trading Places" with Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd :-).There is an interesting undercurrent in the book, for while Twain mocks royalty overtly in scenes such as one with the attendants passing the king's clothes one by one down to him through a long line like a fire brigade, he also does this more subtly. In putting royalty in the context of the 16th century and its way of life - which included many examples of needless violence and cruel torture, ignorant superstition, and fundamental unfairness - Twain shows it as outmoded as all of those things. It is arbitrary and corruptible, he is pointing out, and hereditary power for the few while many suffer is wrong. It is a novel set in London and Dickensian in style, but it has an American message at its core.Quotes:"...when the office of Taster had its perils, and was not a grandeur to be desired. Why they did not use a dog or a plumber seems strange; but all the ways of royalty are strange.""None believe in me - neither wilt thou. But no matter - within the compass of a month thou shalt be free; and more, the laws that have dishonoured thee, and shamed the English name, shall be swept from the statute books. The world is made wrong; kings should go to school to their own laws, at times, and so learn mercy.""...they stepped upon London Bridge, in the midst of a writhing, struggling jam of howling and hurrahing people, whose beer-jolly faces stood out strongly in the glare from manifold torches - and at that instant the decaying head of some former duke or other grandee tumbled down between them, striking Hendon on the elbow and then bounding off among the hurrying confusion of feet. So evanescent and unstable are men's works, in this world! - the late good king is but three weeks dead and three days in his grave, and already the adornments which he took such pains to select from prominent people for his noble bridge are falling.""Once when his royal "sister", the grimly holy lady Mary, set herself to reason with him against the wisdom of his course in pardoning so many people who would otherwise be jailed or hanged or burned, and reminded him that their august late father's prisons had sometimes contained as high as sixty thousand convicts at one time, and that during his admirable reign he had delivered seventy-two thousand thieves and robbers over to death by the executioner*, the boy was filled with generous indignation, and commanded her to go to her closet and beseech God to take away the stone that was in her breast and give her a human heart."* Hume's England
  • (4/5)
    this book was really interesting but in some parts of it this book was confusing because you didn't know who was who. The prince and the pauper had many lessons in it that i think where interesting. I liked that the prince got to experience how life was for many people. He realized that his life was pretty great compaired to other people's. I think that elementry or middle school students would like this book better than adults and teens.
  • (2/5)
    SO different from the Disney version its amusing. But it was an interesting read. I wonder whose perspective of history is more accurate, Twains because he was closer in time, or ours because we have more research and available information...
  • (4/5)
    I'm not sure why I love Mark Twain so much, but even this simple, obvious comedy of mistaken identities was a delight. His style is dated, his characters are more often than not cardboard (or archetypes, depending on the benevolence of the reader), his social commentary comes much more often with the mallet than with the scalpel. And still - this was an adventurous romp through the land and society of 16th century England, never in doubt who was the good guys and the villains, and yes, of course I fell in love with Miles Hendon.And I'm not sure, but... this thing was published first in 1881, and of course audience expectations have changed since then, but reading scenes like Tom experiencing for the first time the morning rituals as prince, with the endless ordeals until his clothing finally reaches him, I imagine Mr. Twain sitting at his desk, adding another comma and another element to an already endless list and cackling maniacally while he knows exactly that he's gonna drive his readership insane.And I can't help myself, but I LOVE this attitude in an author.
  • (3/5)
    In this book, Prince Edward and a beggar, Tom Canty, switch places accidentally. They have many different adventures based on what kind of people they were with. It's in England, during the reign of King Henry VIII. Most of the characters were fictionally made. Overall, it was an okay book; but unless you don't enjoy the medieval way the characters talk, then i suggest you don't read this book.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    I found this an exquisitely funny book and it has lived in my memory ever since I read it in 8th grade.
  • (1/5)
    I did not like this book because it was very hard to understand (at least the version i read). I think that Mark Twain over did the old english a little bit.
  • (5/5)
    Possibly my favorite Twain novel. So many people know the basics of this story that I think few of them ever read the original anymore. The politics and social commentary in this book are some of the best Twain produced. His subtle condemnation of the way society separated the haves and have nots during his day (and still does, if truth be told) is spot on and utterly compelling, all without compromising story or character.
  • (4/5)
    One day two babies was born. But they are very different lives-one is aprince, the other is a pauper. Ten years later, they change p;aces.I was excited thinking what will happen next.And courage of the prince moved me.But i dont like the end of this story. I was disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    Only Mark Twain could have turned this hackneyed old concept into a very readable, enjoyable novel. This Reader’s Digest edition had factual historical notes and a good afterword at the end of the book. First class.
  • (5/5)
    The prince and the Pauper is a well-known story, a classic written by Mark Twain, a superb 19th century writer. This book starts off in London during the rule of Henry VII. On the streets of London resides the Canty family. With a dead beat, drunken, and heavily abusive dad, and no money to fuel his drinking habits, he resorts to violence and beats his only son, and our main character, Tom Canty. When tom was born he was born with the same features and everything, as the prince, Edward, they were even born on the same day and hour. These two young individuals meet each other in a course of different events and decide that they want to have a perspective of the others life, and that it would be easy because of their visual similarities. They later find that this was not as good of an idea as they though it would be. As they face the hardships of each other’s lives. And what is more of a problem; they can’t get a hold of each other to switch back. In a turn of fate they do however, and all things are reversed back and even improved as Edward becomes King, and tom becomes his right hand man.The Prince and the Pauper is a wonderful classic novel, and many have enjoyed it. It’s meant for anyone and has a good meaning intended to the readers. Mark twain is a wonderful author, and writes books such as this that will keep your face glued to the pages. I’d even suggest reading it more than once just because it is that much of an enjoyable read.
  • (4/5)
    Book on CD narrated by Steve West.Two boys born on the same day in very different circumstances meet and discover they each envy the other’s experiences. But only when they exchange clothes do they realize how identical they are in looks. So much so that Edward, Prince of Wales, is ejected from the palace as a beggar, while the pauper Tom Canty is accepted as the prince, despite their protests to the contrary.This is a wonderful classic that explores the difference in class in 16th century England, and the ways that appearance effects how one is treated. Both boys learn much from their experience as “the other.” Tom learns that a life of luxury is not all it’s cracked up to be; he chafes against the restrictions on his movements, the requirements for certain study, the constant presence of servants and guardians. Edward learns first-hand of the harsh life of his poorest subjects: their reliance on begging, the unfairness of the legal system, the lack of opportunities to improve their lot. Tom uses his new-found position to change some of the laws of the land. Edward learns the value of compassion and kindness. It’s a wonderful lesson in “walking in the other person’s shoes.”One thing that was a little difficult, though was Twain’s use of 16th-century English: “Dost not know thy father, child?” is one fairly easy example, but much of the dialect used makes it that much more difficult for a reader to appreciate the story. Still, it’s worth the effort to persevere. And I would recommend listening to the audio.There are many editions of this classic available. The hardcover text edition I used to supplement my listening was the Oxford Mark Twain with an introduction by Judith Martin and an afterword by Everett Emerson. It includes nearly 200 illustrations by Beverly R David and Ray Sapirstein. It’s really a physically beautiful book.The audio edition I listened to was narrated by Steve West. He did a fine job. He has good pacing, and enough skill as a voice artist to differentiate the various characters.
  • (4/5)
    The basic story line of The Prince and the Pauper is probably familiar to everyone as it has become a Hollywood staple in a long series of movies: screen adaptations of varying qualities of the book directly, as well as basic plot lifts like "A Change of Place" or "Model Behavior". Twain’s book is more than just the piece of Hollywood froth into which it’s generally made, however. The ironic and amused tone that is present in so many of his works is much reduced; Twain’s reflections on his subject are darker and pointed. There is humor in the book...a fair amount of it...but there is also a very direct criticism of social systems where the ordinary person is at the mercy of authority, reflections on "the grass is always greener...", and the folly of judging someone by their appearances or circumstances.The novel is a bit slower-paced than his more famous works and a modern editor would probably cut a bit of Edward’s continual ranting about his rights when taken for Tom. Nonetheless, as with every Twain novel I’ve tried, this one is worth reading.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    This is my first book by Mark Twain. It's a fictionised story using some real characters like King Henry VIII and his son King Edward VI.Tom Canty, a begger boy, is very keen on seeing the prince Edward who is the same age that he is. One day when he is roaming in the vicinity of the King's palace, he sees the prince. He is invited into the private chambers of the prince and seeing their remarkable resemblance they decide to play a jest. They exchange clothes and try to act each other's part. Things take a wrong turn and the real prince is thrown out on the streets and Tom is considered as the prince. What follows is a merry adventure for both of them.The conversations in the book are in old English which take a bit of time getting used to but overall it's a fun read.