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When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. In his Introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture developed to tragedy and into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for generations of new readers. This edition reproduces a number of the original drawings by Dan Beard, ...
When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. In his Introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture developed to tragedy and into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for generations of new 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."
A blow on the head transports a Yankee to 528 A.D. where he proceeds to modernize King Arthur's kingdom by organizing a school system, constructing telephone lines, and inventing the printing press.
|Introduction: "A Land Without Chromos"||ix|
|A Word of Explanation||xxxi|
|Chapter 2||King Arthur's Court||7|
|Chapter 3||Knights of the Table Round||17|
|Chapter 4||Sir Dinadan the Humorist||27|
|Chapter 5||An Inspiration||33|
|Chapter 6||The Eclipse||43|
|Chapter 7||Merlin's Tower||53|
|Chapter 8||The Boss||63|
|Chapter 9||The Tournament||73|
|Chapter 10||Beginnings of Civilization||83|
|Chapter 11||The Yankee in Search of Adventures||91|
|Chapter 12||Slow Torture||103|
|Chapter 14||"Defend Thee, Lord!"||125|
|Chapter 15||Sandy's Tale||133|
|Chapter 16||Morgan le Fay||145|
|Chapter 17||A Royal Banquet||155|
|Chapter 18||In the Queen's Dungeons||169|
|Chapter 19||Knight Errantry as a Trade||183|
|Chapter 20||The Ogre's Castle||191|
|Chapter 21||The Pilgrims||201|
|Chapter 22||The Holy Fountain||217|
|Chapter 23||Restoration of the Fountain||231|
|Chapter 24||A Rival Magician||243|
|Chapter 25||A Competitive Examination||257|
|Chapter 26||The First Newspaper||273|
|Chapter 27||The Yankee and the King Travel Incognito||287|
|Chapter 28||Drilling the King||299|
|Chapter 29||The Small-Pox Hut||307|
|Chapter 30||The Tragedy of the Manor-House||317|
|Chapter 32||Dowley's Humiliation||343|
|Chapter 33||Sixth Century Political Economy||355|
|Chapter 34||The Yankee and the King Sold as Slaves||371|
|Chapter 35||A Pitiful Incident||387|
|Chapter 36||An Encounter in the Dark||399|
|Chapter 37||An Awful Predicament||407|
|Chapter 38||Sir Launcelot and Knights to the Rescue||417|
|Chapter 39||The Yankee's Fight with the Knights||425|
|Chapter 40||Three Years Later||439|
|Chapter 41||The Interdict||451|
|Chapter 43||The Battle of the Sand Belt||475|
|Chapter 44||A Postscript by Clarence||493|
|Final P.S. By M.T.||497|
1. How does Hank Morgan change throughout the novel? Is this change for the better, or for worse? How does his speech reflect his change in attitude?
2. The theme of the “mysterious stranger” (an outsider who enters a community or circle and enacts some kind of disruption) often appears in Twain’s works. How does Hank use his status as an “outsider” to his advantage? What does he bring from the outside that benefits sixth-century England? Into which world does Hank ultimately fit?
3. What is Hank Morgan’s view of the Catholic church?
4. Many critics consider A Connecticut Yankee to be Twain’s most flawed work because he simply wanted to do “too much.” Do you agree? If so, why?
5. Consider the end of the novel. What statement does Twain make with this ending? Do you feel it is a fulfilling way to end the book?