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The Prince & the Pauper (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 14 Apr 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton / Signet; Reissue edition (14 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451528352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451528353
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,400,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Twain was . . . enough of a genius to build his morality into his books, with humor and wit and--in the case of "The Prince and the Pauper"--wonderful plotting." --E. L. Doctorow

Twain was . . . enough of a genius to build his morality into his books, with humor and wit and in the case of "The Prince and the Pauper" wonderful plotting. E. L. Doctorow" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classic "tale for young people of all ages" features two identical-looking boys--a prince and a pauper--who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy. As Christopher Paul Curtis observes in his Introduction, "The Prince and the Pauper is "funny, adventurous, and exciting, yet also chock-full of . . . exquisitely reasoned harangues against society's ills."
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the Mark Twain Project edition, which is the approved text of the Center for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 July 2013
Format: Paperback
When poor Tom Canty realises his cherished ambition to meet a real Prince, both are astonished to find they are identical. Swapping clothes for a joke, the young Prince is mistaken for the pauper Tom and ejected from the palace. Meantime, Tom tries to tell the palace people about the mistake, but they think he's gone mad and won't believe him. Prince Edward's loving father (!), Henry VIII, orders Tom to act the Prince until his madness recedes and, as a loyal subject, Tom must obey. So begins a series of adventures for both boys as they learn about each other's lives.

Once I had recovered from the shock of seeing Henry and his children all getting along like The Waltons on a good day (except that awful Bloody Mary, of course - Boo! Hiss!), I enjoyed this fable. A mixture of 'clothes maketh the man' and 'the grass is always greener', Twain uses his set-up to show the social divisions and injustices of Tudor society. Tom finds the affairs of state and trappings of ceremony weigh heavily on him, and sometimes wishes for the freedom of his old life. Edward meantime learns how the poor sink into criminality and vice and sees the cruelty of the punishments they are subjected to. Tom's story is fairly light-hearted, but Edward has to face some dark and dangerous moments in this world that is so different from anything he has known before.

Given the fairy-tale nature of the book, Twain manages to get in a lot of real history, though warped where necessary to meet his purposes, and paints what feels like a fairly accurate picture of life at the time, especially for the poor. He occasionally goes over the top in his descriptions of court ceremony but this is for deliberate comic effect - one gets the distinct feeling that Twain may not have been a huge fan of monarchy!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a sublime `drama' of errors. The prince and the pauper change clothes and are mistaken by the whole population for one another. The prince lives a life of a vagabond and the pauper a royal one. In other words, all men are equal; one has only to change the garments. And, `So evanescent and unstable are men's works in the world.'

This book gives a fair picture of England in the 16th century, worth a Defoe or a Swift: the immense chasm between the rich and the poor, a heavily biased and corrupt judicial system and extremely cruel punishment. `It was a crime to be hungry in England.'

People were hanged for trifling larcenies and slowly boiled for alleged poisoning. `Witches' were burnt at the stake: `My good old blameless mother strove to earn bread by nursing the sick; one of these died, the doctors knew not how, so my mother was burnt for a witch, whilst my babes looked on and wailed ... drink to the merciful English law that delivered her from the English hell!'

The rich chased their farmers away by foreclosures (changing farms in sheep ranges), making instantly beggars of them. They risked heavily to be sold as slaves.

This book is a bittersweet Breughelian comedy about human injustice, cruelty and ultimately generosity.

Not to be missed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is full of dreams love endurance and persevering. A thrilling tale of a rich prince who would like to be a pauper and vice versa
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