In his fifth novel, Mark Twain satirises the Arthurian romance of Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur" with his inimitable wit. The eponymous Yankee, Hank Morgan, suffers a blow to the head and is sent back in time to sixth-century England. There he learns that the members of Arthur's court are naive, deluded idiots who choose to believe in fantastic deeds and embark on pointless quests simply because it is de riguer to do so.
Turning this perceived idiocy to his advantage, Hank attempts to modernise the culture with the eventual aim of overthrowing the monarchy and installing a democracy. He plans to achieve his goal by subtly subverting and eventually destroying the order of knights and the outdated code of chivalry by which they live their lives. The premise of an invading American forcing his beliefs on an undeveloped culture is one which seems more relevant today than the day it was written.
Twain uses this time-travelling adventure as a vehicle to criticise the Catholic Church (which he believes hinders technological and social progression), monarchies and the aristocracy as well as numerous other facets of British society throughout the ages, and to espouse the American ideals of freedom and democracy. Despite this, on the surface 'A Connecticut Yankee' is an enjoyable and amusing parody of Medieval Romance which doesn't demand a knowledge of the genre in order to enjoy it.