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A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court Paperback – 16 Nov 2000

4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation (16 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0543903508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0543903501
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,618,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

Product Description

Review

"Twain is the funniest literary American writer. . . . [I]t must have been a great pleasure to be him."
--George Saunders --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 –1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling. He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility. Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this book encouraged me to send for it although I didn't know whether it was going to be interesting for an elderly lady of nearly 86.
Although I have it on Kindle I also sent for the book as I wanted a written record.
I found it thoroughly interesting. Factual, and in some places really funny. The personal experiences related within the book take you back years and yet it is also full of geographical, historical and other data. The author's grasp of human nature was really good too. I could see the old steamboats in my minds eye -0 I wish I could now!! I was completely absorbed with it until I regretfully finished it!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book loosely follows a trip taken by Twain along the length of the Mississippi. The story of the journey is constantly interrupted by short, entertaining tales related to Twain's prior career as a steamboat pilot. I am always impressed with Twain's storytelling abilities, and though this is not like his typical novel, I quickly devoured it. This book may have had additional significance to me considering I spent a decade living along the banks of the Mississippi. Nevertheless, Twain is always great and timeless.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am nostalgic about this book, and therefore purchased it. The Kindle edition is nice to read and I liked the pictures. This is a great book, masterly yet entertaining and I enjoyed reading after twenty odd years. In short this is a book about life as well as about one of the greatest rivers in the planet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book each year and enjoy my few hours of wonder with the book.

Yes, there are lots of things that seem just silly. One example is that the main character has knowledge of solar eclipse over hundreds of years which aids him in the story. But, putting this aside, it's a lovely social commentary of civilisation and a good fun read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this, his fifth novel, Mark Twain satirises Arthurian romance 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 underdeveloped 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 facets of Medieval British society, such as the Catholic Church (which he believes hinders technological and social progression), the monarchy and the aristocracy, and to espouse the American ideals of freedom and democracy. 'A Connecticut Yankee...' is an enjoyable and amusing parody of Medieval Romance which doesn't require a knowledge of the genre in order for the reader to enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
In a lecture at Harvard in 1967, Borges said that over the years, fueled by his enthusiasm for Huckleberry Finn, he had read and re-read Life on the Mississippi. I also started reading this book because I wanted to return to Huck's world, but do not think I will ever re-read it, though undeniably certain passages are evocative and memorable. I did find it tiresomely factual in places. But if you have time to kill and long for Old Man River, there are certainly worse ways to pass the hours.
2 Comments 26 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put it down. The language itself takes you to another era. I love travel but in this age, travel like that of Mark Twain is no longer possible. Nowadays speed is of the essence. Then it was accuracy and devotion to a craft. Even the attention to detail is that of a craftsman.
I knew another Mark Twain (I didn't realise till I began reading of his diverse acheivements).
Set aside some precious time. Relax in a peaceful setting and enjoy this wonderful book.
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Format: Paperback
For me this was my first sojourn into the madness of Mark Twain, sadly it was an unfulfilling one.

Yankee tells the wonderful story of a chance meeting with a fellow in Windsor castle who professes to unravel his past in a fantastical yarn of his life in the time of Camelot and Arthurian Britain.

Having read other reviews on Amazon regarding this I chose to take a chance and was both elated and deflated periodically throughout the book. Where you are warned that fans of King Arthur should stay away, please ignore. This IS a book about Arthur's Britain and will add a layer previously unseen to the readers knowledge of the period; however, at the same time be prepared for a heavily satirical look at the world of politics that can drag on for many a page and turn the lightest of eyelids to a curtly shutting door.

To truly enjoy the entirity of this book I would recommend both an interest in politics and Arthurian legend otherwise you may find yourself skimming the pages for the "good bits".
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