A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Paperback
by Mark Twain
Illustrated by Daniel Carter Beard
Part of the Oxford World's Classics series
When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises.
Thus what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture grew into a disturbing satire of modern technology and social thought.
The story of Hank Morgan, a nineteenth-century American who is accidentally returned to sixth-century England, is a powerful analysis of such issues as monarchy versus democracy and free will versus determinism, but it is also one of Twain's finest comic novels, still fresh and funny after more than 100 years.
In his introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how A Connecticut Yankee develops from comedy to tragedy and so into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for new generations of readers. This edition reproduces a number of the original drawings by Dan Beard, of whom Twain said 'he not only illustrates the text but he illustrates my thoughts'.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages, line drawings
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 17/04/2008
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780199540587
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Review by feelinglistless
With just a vague memory of the film adaptation starring Bing Crosby, some notion of the influences it has had on Doctor Who, and the cover illustration as a guide, I approached A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court expecting a typically structured but entertaining story of a man out of time and although Twain/Clemens’s tale begins in that mode, it quickly tips over into a far darker meandering satire on Western imperialism and industrialisation. The protagonist Hank Martin is a loathsome figure and even though the story’s told from his POV, I slowly became more and more protective of the Arthurian characters who barely seem to deserve the treatment the Yankee gives them. But that’s Twain/Clemens’s point I think; how the modern versions of us, apparently so sophisticated, are desperate to sap the magic from the world, be it in nature or man itself. A difficult read but a transportative one. This is psychogeographical literature.