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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Author: Twain, Mark

Genre: Novel

Year: 1889

Characters: Sir Sagramor le Desirous, Sir Launcelot, Sir Kay the Seneschal, Sandy, Marco, Hank Morgan, Guenever, Dowley, Clarence, Merlin

Description:

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

 

The plot is based around Hank Morgan who is an ordinary resident of Hartford, Connecticut. He wakes up one day in the middle of medieval England. Although startled at this wild and shocking turn of events, Hank is an eminently practical man who makes the best of his strange fortune, dealing smartly with commoners and kings alike. Mark Twain delights his reader with this hilarious and classic tale in which two very different eras clash. In this satire on his own era's idealization of the supposed chivalry and romance of medieval days, Twain uses his signature wit and humor to highlight the utter silliness of all people across the ages.

Under the veil of sarcasms leveled at King Arthur we see a genial mockery of the British monarchy of to-day, with its Royal grants and all its semi-feudal paraphernalia. Nor is it only at British abuses Mark Twain levels his burly jests. He thwacks the protectionist American as readily as the aristocratic Briton. There is something infinitely significant in the very form of his satire. The strong vein of satire against monarchical institutions running throughout the book. The whole social system, in fact, is held up to ridicule, with the undeniable direction being against the principles on which monarchical government is based and against the all-powerful influence of a corrupt church.

Published in 1889, Connecticut Yankee is one of the world's first stories about time travel. It was one of his last novels and by content and literary style his most mature. It is a fantastic attempt by Mark Twain to locate his time and place in terms of its imagined pasts and its possible futures. Connecticut Yankee is perhaps his most complex book.

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