By Mark Twain
One of many maximum satires in American literature, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court starts whilst Hank Morgan, a talented mechanic in a nineteenth-century New England hands manufacturing facility, is struck at the head in the course of a quarrel and awakens to discover himself one of the knights and magicians of King Arthur’s Camelot.
What follows is a tradition conflict of the 1st importance, as practical-minded Hank, disgusted with the lack of knowledge and superstition of the folk, makes a decision to enlighten them with schooling and expertise. via a sequence of splendidly inventive adventures, Twain celebrates American homespun ingenuity and democracy compared to the backward ineptitude of a chivalric monarchy. even as, despite the fact that, Twain increases the query of no matter if fabric growth unavoidably creates a greater society. As Hank turns into extra robust and self-righteous, he additionally turns into extra ruthless, extra autocratic, and not more in a position to regulate occasions, till the one approach out is a vastly harmful war.
While the darkish pessimism that will absolutely blossom in Twain’s later works might be discerned in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the radical will however be remembered essentially for its wild leaps of mind's eye, marvelous wit, and exciting storytelling.
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Additional resources for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Twain舗s publishing company fails and leaves him bankrupt. 1895 Twain embarks on an ambitious worldwide lecture tour to restore his financial position. 1896 He publishes Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and Tom Sawyer, Detective. His daughter Susy dies of spinal meningitis. 1901 Twain is awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Yale. 1902 Livy falls gravely ill. Mark Twain舗s Huckleberry Finn, a stage adaptation of the novel, opens to favorable reviews. Though he is credited with coauthorship, Twain has little to do with the play and never sees it performed.
In other words, as Twain had done in Innocents Abroad, in Connecticut Yankee Hank goes back east to vindicate the notion that as human progress moved forward through time it also moved westward in space, from a benighted Old World to a blessed new one. For Twain, the essence of the medieval past is not chivalry but slavery: 舠Any Established Church,舡 Hank writes, is 舠an established slave-pen舡 (pp. 154-155); 舠a privileged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name舡 (p.
Stephen Railton, who also wrote the introduction and notes for the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Last of the Mohicans, teaches American literature at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is Mark Twain: A Short Introduction. A NOTE ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS During his career Twain舗s works were published 舠by subscription only,舡 which means they were sold not in bookstores but by an army of agents who went door to door across the nation like the knights Hank sends over King Arthur舗s England to peddle soap.