The Prince and the Pauper, Level 2

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Overview

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classic "tale for young people of all ages" features two identical-looking boys - a prince and a pauper - who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy.

When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, ...

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The Prince and the Pauper

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Overview

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain's classic "tale for young people of all ages" features two identical-looking boys - a prince and a pauper - who trade clothes and step into each other's lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy.

When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, each learns something about the other's very different station in life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582421790
  • Publisher: Pearson ESL
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Series: Penguin Readers: Level 2 Ser.
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain
Riverboat pilot, journalist, failed businessman (several times over): Samuel Clemens -- the man behind the figure of “Mark Twain” -- led many lives. But it was in his novels and short stories that he created a voice and an outlook on life that will be forever identified with the American character.

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

Reading Group Guide

Set in sixteenth-century England, Mark Twain’s classic “tale for young people of all ages” features two identical-looking boys—a prince and a pauper—who trade clothes and step into each other’s lives. While the urchin, Tom Canty, discovers luxury and power, Prince Edward, dressed in rags, roams his kingdom and experiences the cruelties inflicted on the poor by the Tudor monarchy. As Christopher Paul Curtis observes in his Introduction, The Prince and the Pauper is “funny, adventurous, and exciting, yet also chock-full of . . . exquisitely reasoned harangues against society’s ills.”

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the Mark Twain Project edition, which is the approved text of the Center for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association.

1. The Prince and the Pauper is set in sixteenth-century Tudor England during the reign of Henry VIII. This time was marked by a great social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. How does Twain tackle this issue in the novel? What did you learn from this time period about democracy and monarchy?

2. Some might say Miles Hendon acts as the "hero" in this novel. What heroic qualities does he possess? Is he lacking any that prevent him from being a true hero?

3. What are some of the similarities between Tom's and Edward's lives? What makes the other's life more appealing to Tom and Edward, respectively? How do they grow through their experiences?

4. In the novel, children believe that Edward is the king while the adults do not. Are there other examples where children have greater knowledge than adults? ConsiderTwain's implications here.

5. The Prince and the Pauper has been compared in style to works of Dickens. What aspect of the novel stands out to you most?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 84 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Book Category with very ADULT content

    My 4th grade son was given the reading assignment of choosing a classic book for his report. While I am very supportive of what he reads and always read what he reads, either with him or on my own, I was quite surprised with some of the content in the book.

    While some of the situations and lessons are great for kids to learn, it was quite bothersome and hurtful to my son to read about how the main character, Tom Canty, is treated by his father. While I certainly do not want to ruin the story, he is starved and beaten for not begging and stealing enough to his father's satisfaction. In continuing with the story, the Prince witnesses women be burned alive at the stake while their daughters grasp for them and one of them actually has her clothing catch fire.

    Some parents may certainly be okay with their child reading content such as this, my son had a hard time accepting that he had to read and then write about this among other incidents that happened throughout the book.

    The language is very difficult to understand as well. While the book was rated for his age group, I feel it would be more acceptable for older children who are more emotionally able to understand and accept that treatment such as what was endured throughout the book was tolerated in the time it was portrayed to have "happened".

    The footnotes were extremely helpful and made the book a bit more easier to understand and more realistic in some ways.

    Hope this review helps other parents in deciding whether or not this might be the best book for their child.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 5, 2008

    A great read

    Two boys, a prince and a pauper, decide to trade lives since neither is happy with his own. A great and classic book that all children should read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2004

    A Worthwhile Read

    Throughout history there have been many classic novels that have truly captivated many a reader¿s attention. These novels include one I¿ve recently read: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. This novel portrays the traditional theme of wanting a life different than your own. In this novel the prince, Edward Tudor, and the pauper, Tom Canty, long for things that their lives cannot provide: the prince wishes to play as a boy and the pauper wishes to be wealthy and renowned like the prince. The two, who are of the same age and similar appearance, end up switching lives after Edward allows Tom to wear his royal garments. The prince then leaves the palace still dressed in Tom¿s rags. The prince is thrown out and mocked. The prince learns the hardships of a pauper¿s life and Tom is able to enjoy some of the benefits, as well as some of the pressures, of the life of a prince. The prince¿s father then dies, leaving the role of king up to the next royal in line: the prince himself. A part of the book that I find especially intriguing is the prince¿s encounter with the pauper¿s father, John Canty. The prince finds John in hopes that he will be able to restore the young Tudor to his rightful position as prince. However, John assumes that the prince is actually the pauper trying to plead insanity to escape from punishment for bringing home no money. John viciously abuses the prince, asking the help of Grandma Canty in his mistreatment of the fatigued lad. This, in my opinion, demonstrates the evils of human nature. John¿s instinct to lash out at his own son is truly wretched, and yet sadly his nature is, in reality, similar to that of cruel individuals. In this same scene a lone man attempts to protect the prince, taking a horrid blow himself. This man represents the good of human nature: man¿s willingness to sacrifice himself for another. In addition, when John and his captive reach home, the pauper¿s mother and sisters try to protect and comfort the frail prince, though they also mistake him for Tom Canty. This scene is very touching because it shows the vast spectrum of human nature from horribly evil to incredibly good. The Prince and the Pauper is a truly touching novel that gives a detailed picture of life in 16th century England. The rich and the poor, as well as the good and the evil are all described in this exciting novel. Life was difficult for many a being at the time. Injustices were often suffered. However, by witnessing firsthand the cruelty and unfair treatment of citizens in his kingdom, the prince¿s character was strengthened, thus allowing him to learn to overcome such evil and become a just and kind ruler. This book is a very worthwhile read with a timeless and valuable lesson that relates to all of us who have ever yearned for a different life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    a reviewer

    The Prince and the Pauper was a pretty good book. In the beginning, I thought it was boring and slow. But, towards the middle of the book, the plot went faster and it was more exciting. I would recommend this book for people ages 10 and up.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2000

    Ick

    I thought the story was very overdone and incredibly hard to get into. If you don't HAVE to read this book, DON'T.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Hu

    I dont understand

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I can't wait for my daughter to read this

    Though some of the language is convoluted, context renders it pretty easy to understand, and some of the darker situations just make the conclusion that much more thrilling to read. I think the descriptions of the pauper boy's life, with regular beatings and hunger, yet devoted friends and time for play, are quite enlightening, as are the descriptions of Westminster and the riot on London Bridge.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Mar 8

    Love it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2007

    Makes a wonderful Audio Book!!

    This review is not just about the book itself, but specifically for the Audio version of the book, read by veteran actor Kenneth Jay who is also the narrator on an audio version of Mark Twain's 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'. I like this reader's style very much. I think Mark Twain really comes to life when read aloud, and The Prince and the Pauper is an excellent example. Most people are familiar with the famous storyline of the two lookalike boys: one the heir to the throne of England, and the other a poor ragamuffin from the dirty streets of London, who meet by chance and decide to change clothes and impersonate one another as a joke for a few hours, but it all goes wrong and both boys get stuck in their assumed roles for much longer than intended. But Twain's dry wit, fascinating descriptions, and observation of life are often lost in the film versions, while this audio book, although abridged, remains true to Mark Twain's exact words and brings them to life in a way that doesn't happen when you read it silently to yourself. This reader is very skilled with voices and accents, so all the characters seem real and different, and the result is very entertaining storytelling from start to finish. Although I personally prefer this reader's audio book version of A Connecticut Yankee, I think the storyline of this book will appeal more to people, particularly younger people

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Rules for Impostering

    1. Before impostering, you must create a post under your name, which says "[you] flickers into existence as [the cat you're impostering]." This post must remain up for three to five minutes. <br>
    2. After this wait is complete, you can RP the cat for up to fifteen minutes, at which point your impostering ends. There are some restrictions, though. <br>
    3. You cannot declare an attack on another Clan, only antagonize other cats into attacking. You also cannot attack other cats. <br>
    4. If another cat touches you, your impostering ends. <br>
    5. After your impostering session ends, you must return to the Dark Forest and wait ten minutes before impostering again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Adam

    It deserves 100 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Very good

    Very entertaining. I highly recommend this book for everyone,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    I have never read this book

    I have never read this book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

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    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    The Prince and the Pauper

    Hard to read. To many spelling and typing errors.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    This wonderful book deserves better!

    The digitization ruined this book. It is so fraught with errors as to be all but unreadable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    By Giant Smart 1

    Ive read treasure island too this one too,although you might come across british words.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    sounds goid

    Is it as good as it sounds? What are some other good books please?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Something

    I heard this.is a good book, and im supposed to read it for honors english or treasure island. Im thinking of reading treasure island, but if this is a good book, ill read this instead. Help?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Great red

    I loved it absolutly awesome...but thats to be expected right?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews

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