Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Composition and Publication, Criticism / Edition 1

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Overview

This edition of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court reprints the text of the first American edition, approved by Clemens and published by his own company. Accompanying the text are thirteen of the original illustrations by Daniel Carter Beard, many of which are caricatures of well-known figures of the day. Annotations point out significant textual problems and variants, as well as explaining unfamiliar references within the text.
"Backgrounds and Sources" includes selections on King Arthur from the Oxford Companion to English Literature; on the total eclipse from The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving; and on the "king's touch," the ascetic saints, and the financing of the Mansion House by W. E. H. Lecky. Selections from Clemens's letters, notebooks, autobiography, and other writings and newspaper reports of his 1886 manuscript reading at Governor's Island show how the novel developed. A section of the Beard illustrations includes material by Beard, Clemens, and Henry Nash Smith. The English edition is discussed by Dennis Welland.
Early critical views are by Sylvester Baxter, William Dean Howells, Andrew Lang, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Whibley, Albert Bigelow Paine, John B. Hoben, and anonymous reviewers in the London Daily Telegraph and the Boston Literary World. The later critical essays are by Howard G. Baetzhold, James D. Williams, Kenneth S. Lynn, James M. Cox, Louis J. Budd, Henry Nash Smith, David Ketterer, and Everett Carter.
A Selected Bibliography is also included.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393951370
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1982
  • Series: Norton Critical Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 455
  • Sales rank: 971,889
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known to the world by his pen-name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist, noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which has been called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876, among many others.

Allison R. Ensor is professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. His is the author of Mark Twain and the Bible.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 233 )
Rating Distribution

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(77)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(65)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Don't buy this version!

    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a superb book and I highly recommend you check it out, so you may be wondering why I am reviewing this as one star only. This version of the nook book is busted, in the middle of chapter 39 (XXXIX) it cuts to an entirely different book! If this is what Barnes and Nobles is going to let happen to the nook this device will fail horribly.

    22 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Too much missing

    Too many pages are missing or unreadable to even follow the story.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Don't even bother

    This is a great book... when it's more than three pages of the book! Seriously, this is seven pages of unreadable BS. Thanks for taking up storage space, ripoff! I'd give it zero if I could.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Would rate this 0 stars if available.

    Entire book consisted of 7 pages, beginning on page 304 of the original book, followed by 305, 384, and then the End.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Google Books version with numerous OCR errors

    This version is part of Google's initiative to digitize books. It clearly has been scanned and had OCR (optical character recognition) run to convert to digital text, with NO PROOFING of the scan, leaving numerous incorrect characters - typically several words per page with errors. Very distracting to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Bad OCR

    Would love to read this sometime, but not this way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    what the

    there are 7 pages in this stupid file

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Superb!!

    Everthing but the ending is to die for!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Don't Read This Version

    There are just too many spelling mistakes in this version. I quit after only 2 pages. Hopefully you can find a better copy than this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Phenominal read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's full of the adventure of the middle-ages and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this wonderful book. Thank you, Mark Twain!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    horrible

    This book doesnt have the story it is only 7 pages long
    !!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Terable to onderstand

    Tarablely hard to read/understand

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Bad copy

    There are 2 actual pages of almost unreadable words. Whole story is not here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2010

    Not a fan of social commentaries but had some redeeming qualities.

    Plodded through this ebook. Wanted to read it because it was a classic but in finishing it, I've decided I'm not a big fan of social commentaries. Definitely had several humorous moments though and witty one-liners.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    File Does Not Load

    Hopefully this review is tied to the right file - the one with a portrait of Mark Twain.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Bad Copy

    Too many typos and "strange" symbols.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    WILL ANYBODY TELL ME WHAT'SGOING ON ABOUT ALL THE CUSSING

    PPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE SSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTOOOOOOPPPPPPP CCCCCCCUUUUUUUSSSSSSSS SSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGG_

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    Unreadable

    Not worth the storage space.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    To anonymous on jan. 6

    Is there any way you're name is Erik Schroeder or if you know him? That sounds a lot like something he would post.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews

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