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A Yankee mechanic, knocked out in a fight, awakens at Camelot in A.D. 528. He saves himself from prison and death by posing as a magician and becoming minister to King Arthur. But when he attempts to help out the peasants, he meets opposition.
A Connecticut Yankee is Mark Twain’s most ambitious work, a tour de force with a science-fiction plot told in the racy slang of a Hartford workingman, sparkling with literary hijinks as well as social and political satire. Mark Twain characterized his novel as "one vast sardonic laugh at the trivialities, the servilities of our poor human race." The Yankee, suddenly transported from his native nineteenth-century America to the sleepy sixth-century Britain of King Arthur and the Round Table, vows brashly to "boss the whole country inside of three weeks." And so he does. Emerging as "The Boss," he embarks on an ambitious plan to modernize Camelot—with unexpected results. Daniel Carter Beard illustrated the first edition of Yankee in 1889, and Mark Twain praised his work as "better than the book—which is a good deal for me to say, I reckon." This Mark Twain Library edition reprints the text based on the author’s manuscript, all 221 of Beard’s illustrations, and the notes from the California scholarly edition.
Hank Morgan awakens one morning to find he has been transported from nineteenth-century New England to sixth-century England and the reign of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Morgan brings to King Arthur's utopian court the ingenuity of the future, resulting in a culture clash that is at once satiric, anarchic, and darkly comic.
Daniel Beard's original illustrations accompany the story of a Connecticut workman who finds himself transported back to medieval England
In Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Hank Morgan awakes from a blow to the head only to find that he has been mysteriously transported back in time. It is early medieval England, the time of King Arthur and Hank is taken to the Camelot castle by a Knight of the King's. Ridiculed for his funny manner and dress sense, and sentenced to burn at the stake, Hank recovers through an incredible stroke of luck, and in doing so convinces the superstitious King and his subjects that he possesses great powers.
You might wonder what prompted Mark Twain to sidle from ""straight"" fiction into the realm of outright fantasy. Twain transports a Connecticut shop foreman twelve centuries into the past [and 5 000 kilometres!] to Camelot and Arthur's court. Initially confused and dismayed, Hank Morgan's Yankee practicality is quickly aroused and he becomes a major figure among the panopolied knights. With the title of The Boss, his rank equals The King or The Pope with its uniqueness. His elevation doesn't distract him from a more profound impulse, however. Hank's Yankee roots and wide experience evoke an ambition - nothing less than revolution. He wants to sweep away the monarchy and aristocracy and establish an American-style republic in Arthurian Britain. Mark Twain's scathing criticism of the sham of hereditary monarchy bolstered by an Established Church makes this among his choicest writings. He resents the condition of a Church which ""turned a nation of men into a nation of worms."" A fervent believer in individual freedom, Twain uses Hank to voice his disdain of Britain's royalty. It's no more than might be expected of a man who boasted of but one ancestor - who sat on the jury that executed Charles I. Hank knows revolutions never succeed when implemented from above. Revolution be achieved only when the individual's attitude changes from meek acceptance toself assertion. Hank's method reaches people through clandestine schools and factories, publication of a newspaper and establishment of a telephone system. These new forms of manufacture and communication become the foundation by which Hank expects to abolish the ancient, mis-named, chivalric tradition. Does he change the course of history? Twain relocates the roots of American democracy from the heart of the frontier yeoman farmer to the brain of the urban industrial worker. Here the man of wide, practical experience shows how to survive compared to those with a formal education. Hank has a simple ambition - establishment of a republic - but utilizes a broad spectrum of ideas to bring it about. He would gladly replace the Established Church of Rome with his own Presbyterian ideals, but is aware that it would be swapping one evil for another. ""Each man should select his own religion, or make one"" he contends. Yet, finally, it is this dread force that impairs his desire for change. The final sequence stands as a peer to the biblical Armageddon, Twain wallowing in a frightful bloodletting unseen in any of his other works. Mark Twain contrasts the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution with the centuries of slavery, serfdom, and poverty that killed countless more people than that spasm of excising of aristocracy. What else spurred him to write of human rights with such passion? He had written of slavery before, but this book is especially wrathful in describing the ""peculiar institution"" eliminated in his homeland but a generation before. He forces the king to experience the slave's condition, a form of degradation he would have all aristocrats endure. Every feature of the human condition is examined in this timeless treasure. He challenges you to follow his gaze, considering whether today's societies, monarchical or not, will endure the scrutiny.