Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court

Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court

3.3 227
by Mark Twain, Kenneth Jay

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Hank Morgan finds himself transported back to England's Dark Ages — where he is immediately captured and sentenced to death at Camelot. Fortunately, he's quick-witted, and in the process of saving his life he turns himself into a celebrity — winning himself the position of prime minister as well as the lasting enmity of Merlin.


Hank Morgan finds himself transported back to England's Dark Ages — where he is immediately captured and sentenced to death at Camelot. Fortunately, he's quick-witted, and in the process of saving his life he turns himself into a celebrity — winning himself the position of prime minister as well as the lasting enmity of Merlin.

Product Details

Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
Publication date:
Junior Classics Series
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 CDs
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

Read an Excerpt


"CAMELOT - Camelot," said I to myself. "I don't seem to remember hearing of it before. Name of the asylum, likely."

It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream, and as lonesome as Sunday. The air was full of the smell of flowers, and the buzzing of insects, and the twittering of birds, and there were no people, no wagons, there was no stir of life, nothing going on. The road was mainly a winding path with hoof-prints in it, and now and then a faint trace of wheels on either side in the grass - wheels that apparently had a tire as broad as one's hand.

Presently a fair slip of a girl, about ten years old, with a cataract of golden hair streaming down over her shoulders, came along. Around her head she wore a hoop of flame-red poppies. It was as sweet an outfit as ever I saw, what there was of it. She walked indolently along, with a mind at rest, its peace reflected in her innocent face. The circus man paid no attention to her; didn't even seem to see her. And she - she was no more startled at his fantastic make-up than if she was used to his like every day of her life. She was going by as indifferently as she might have gone by a couple of cows; but when she happened to notice me, then there was a change! Up went her hands, and she was turned to stone; her mouth dropped open, her eyes stared wide and timorously, she was the picture of astonished curiosity touched with fear. And there she stood gazing, in a sort of stupefied fascination, till we turned a corner of the wood and were lost to her view. That she should be startled at me instead of at the other man, was too many for me; I couldn't make head or tail of it. And that she should seem to consider me a spectacle, and totally overlook her own merits in that respect, was another puzzling thing, and a display of magnanimity, too, that was surprising in one so young. There was food for thought here. I moved along as one in a dream.

As we approached the town, signs of life began to appear. At intervals we passed a wretched cabin, with a thatched roof, and about it small fields and garden patches in an indifferent state of cultivation. There were people, too; brawny men, with long, coarse, uncombed hair that hung down over their faces and made them look like animals. They and the women, as a rule, wore a coarse tow-linen robe that came well below the knee, and a rude sort of sandal, and many wore an iron collar. The small boys and girls were always naked; but nobody seemed to know it. All of these people stared at me, talked about me, ran into the huts and fetched out their families to gape at me; but nobody ever noticed that other fellow, except to make him humble salutation and get no response for their pains.

In the town were some substantial windowless houses of stone scattered among a wilderness of thatched cabins; the streets were mere crooked alleys, and unpaved; troops of dogs and nude children played in the sun and made life and noise; hogs roamed and rooted contentedly about, and one of them lay in a reeking wallow in the middle of the main thoroughfare and suckled her family. Presently there was a distant blare of military music; it came nearer, still nearer, and soon a noble cavalcade wound into view, glorious with plumed helmets and flashing mail and flaunting banners and rich doublets and horse-cloths and gilded spearheads; and through the muck and swine, and naked brats, and joyous dogs, and shabby huts, it took its gallant way, and in its wake we followed. Followed through one winding alley and then another - and climbing, always climbing - till at last we gained the breezy height where the huge castle stood. There was an exchange of bugle blasts; then a parley from the walls, where men-at-arms, in hauberk and morion, marched back and forth with halberd at shoulder under flapping banners with the rude figure of a dragon displayed upon them; and then the great gates were flung open, the drawbridge was lowered, and the head of the cavalcade swept forward under the frowning arches; and we, following, soon found ourselves in a great paved court, with towers and turrets stretching up into the blue air on all the four sides; and all about us the dismount was going on, and much greeting and ceremony, and running to and fro, and a gay display of moving and intermingling colors, and an altogether pleasant stir and noise and confusion.

Meet the Author

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 Hartfort, 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 oftenill-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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 30, 1835
Date of Death:
April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:
Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:
Redding, Connecticut

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 227 reviews.
DaveWheeler More than 1 year ago
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.
Ramona Downing More than 1 year ago
Too many pages are missing or unreadable to even follow the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entire book consisted of 7 pages, beginning on page 304 of the original book, followed by 305, 384, and then the End.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would love to read this sometime, but not this way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are 2 actual pages of almost unreadable words. Whole story is not here.
eurekatpt More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How about a refund?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are too full of yourself, or consider yourself of nobility, this book will give you an idea of Mark Twain's feeling about people like that. You have to not be too thin-skinned as he only thinly disguises his feelings. But the story is classic and a fun read as long as you recognize what Mark Twain is doing. A lot stretches the imagination, but in some cases that exercise is a good thing. It was not meant to be taken literally, since the premise is not actually possible, but is one man's opinion of what seemed to be wrong with the world. It's dressed in medieval garb, and a fun read. Don't miss this because of what others said - try it for yourself, and persevere through the entire book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopefully this review is tied to the right file - the one with a portrait of Mark Twain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many typos and "strange" symbols.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth the storage space.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book, but part of the story was cut off!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok. There were a bunch of typos which made it annoying. Some parts were exciting and others were just plain boring, but what really bothered me though is the way the author critisizes the Church!!! What he says is simply NOT true and the reader should not believe it. -someone who knows what she's talking about
Cal-Dream-in More than 1 year ago
Reads like to days stupid headlines. Twain would laugh American government today, and it's NEVER good to have Twain laughing at you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so i havent read the book, but i have found that if one book like this doesnt have eveeything, then you find the exact same one and see which one is correct. Hope thisheelps!