The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper

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Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper was first published in 1881 in Canada (before its 1882 publication in the United States). This is Twain's first attempt at historical fiction. Set in 1547, the novel tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London,…  See more details below


Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper was first published in 1881 in Canada (before its 1882 publication in the United States). This is Twain's first attempt at historical fiction. Set in 1547, the novel tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Edward VI of England, son of Henry VIII of England.

When the two boys meet, they decide to switch clothes as a jest. The Prince fares poorly in London because he insists on proclaiming his identity as the true Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, despite Tom's repeated denial of his birthright, the court and the King insist that he is the true prince gone mad. Edward eventually runs into Tom's family and a gang of thieves and Twain illustrates England's unfair and barbaric justice system.

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Avalon Publishers
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Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mark Twain, or Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), was an American author and humorist. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

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The Prince and the Pauper 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 210 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to write a 7th grade book report on it and it was simple. Even with the writing it was very easy to understand. And if you already did reasch for another project on crimes and punishments back then, then you know what to expect. Great book for book reports.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Turn back time; sixteenth century England is where you will be. One will fine oneself in THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER by Mark Twain. England is in chaos; terrors, poverty, plague and filth is everywhere. People are begging to stay alive. Tom Canty ¿the pauper¿ is the main character in the book. Tom is a regular person. He has grown up in the filth of Elizabethan England. Another main character in the book is Edward Tudor ¿the prince.¿ Edward grows up in the gentry of society. Tom¿s dream comes true when Tom switches places with Edward Tudor. One day Tom is by the grounds where Edward is. Edward wants to play with him. By mistake Tom dresses up as the Prince and Edward dresses up as the Pauper and then the Pauper [Edward] is kicked out of the grounds. The Prince observes what the people of England are going through. While the Prince observes he becomes a pheasant: the back bone of society. The Pauper goes through the opposite; he becomes a gentry. There are two reoccurring themes in the book, appearance verses reality and image verses identity. Vibrantly expressed is appearance verses reality. ¿The soldiers presented arms with their halberds, opened the gates, and presented again as the little Prince of Poverty passed in, in his fluttering rags, to join hands with the Prince of Limitless Plenty¿ (19.) The reader will see that language device used frequently in the book. Image verses identity can be seen within the quote. The description of Tom and Edward show image of their identity. The sole of the reader will know Tom will always be the beggar and Edward the elite class. Image verses identity is another reoccurring theme in the book. Edward¿s image is of high royal status. Edward¿s identity changes as the reader observes what he goes through. This theme makes the book better then if nothing changed in the mood of the society. The reader might think of the hero¿s journey. Tom¿s transformation is the one and only dream. It is achieved which is the main reason to read the book. The reader will vision the lowest class of Elizabethan society reach its upper limit. The vision of escape and exile is what Edward witnesses with the reader. His story isn¿t the best. Edward is thrown back into the throbbing jungle of Elizabethan society. This book has a very bizarre language which one might not enjoy. Imagine the beginning of modern English that is used in Shakespeare and then mix it with our flamboyant English of the present. That might be scary territory for people anyway but it is not my main recommendation. My number one recommendation is because of the two reoccurring themes in the book appearance verses reality and image verses identity. The reader has a phantasmagoric experience between the two characters. The reader will be able to vividly see the prince and the pauper in their two new and different words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love mark twain and i was reading this book in class and i needed to read it but i hate reading from pages so this was the same version i was reading in class and i recomend it to all kids and adults
Anaissa Diaz More than 1 year ago
My teacher told me to read this book and I loved it! If you like classics you'll love this book. Great read!
TheQuillPen More than 1 year ago
"The Prince and the Pauper"'s strengths reside mostly in its author's wonderful writing and its creative and humurous "comedy of errors" style involving wild mix-ups and misunderstandings. Mark Twain is an amazingly skillful author and he presents his topic in a wonderful way. However, the story cannot compare to Twain's other work and is not as memorable or spirited. Some of the plot turns feel slightly unnecessary and the titular pauper is underdeveloped as compared to the prince when he could have had a lot of potential. I think the setting was somewhat stifling as well, seeing as Mark Twain has a definite American flavor to his writing style, and his dialogue shines when filled with 19th-century dialects. Although I would absolutely reccomend "The Prince and the Pauper," it would not be at the top of my list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey mark twain wrote this book in the old days. So you should know that there should be some errors
Nazire More than 1 year ago
Mark Twain is hailed as one of the greatest writers of his time and not for no reason. While The Prince and the Pauper is not my favorite book by Twain it is definitely a great book to read. It has a lot of interesting characters and a glance from the future to the past attitude that makes this story a great read even to modern day readers. It's a coming of age story with plot twists and some new techniques tried out by Twain. There are growing aches in which any one could relate to both of the protagonists and can easily see the both sides of the mirror. While, it won't be easy to figure out Twain's syntax and diction, therefore eliminating many younger readers who would other wise immensely enjoy this book, it is a book that can be enjoyed by children and their parents, or their adults and some young adults as well who are willing to put the time into this book.
InTheBookcase 18 days ago
The Prince and the Pauper is a children's classic written by American author, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). This is a fun bit of literature to read. Children will especially enjoy the story since it centers upon two boys as they share the adventure of a lifetime. Tom Canty, a poor boy with an abusive father and only crumbs to eat for supper; Prince Edward, monarch of the Tudor dynasty and heir to King Henry VIII. What circumstances could possibly lead these two to even meet, with completely opposite lives and social ranks creating a broad distance between them? Furthermore, that a prince and a pauper would then engage in conversation, or make the (almost!) fatal decision of switching lives? This is historical fiction at its finest. Clemens took on a "what if?" plot to try his hand at alternative history. Let us ask ourselves... "What could have happened in 1547, if Prince Edward left the throne empty for a look-alike peasant boy to rule his kingdom? Nothing could go horribly wrong. Right?" I found Clemens to be quite witty in his writing style. He makes many uses of alliteration and similes, so that the story becomes whimsical in its telling, sometimes poetic-sounding -- and just about always a bit comical. For some readers (especially younger readers), the wording may be hard to easily read in "Ye Olde English". Many sentences are similar to: "Ah, be merciful, thou! In sooth I am no lord, but only poor Tom Canty of Offal Court in the city. Prithee let me see the prince, and he will of his grace restore to me my rags, and let me hence unhurt." NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: There are a few references to drunkenness (as in the case of Tom Canty's father being prone to drink and beating his son). I really liked reading The Prince and the Pauper -- this being the first of Clemens' works that I've read. I now look forward to reading more from this famed author.
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Anonymous 10 months ago
Girl cat, eyes brown, noise midnight color, fur color is black/blue, front right leg is white, hazard because do dumm stuff, weird & crazy, like to fist stuff & make stuff, like art, wickend strong claws & teeth, no mate & not looking for 1, there is more just it take to long to put down, got my nook take away then something happend to it now it got fist
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The text doesn't come in right, so this version is a waste of money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
NataliaAbramova More than 1 year ago
Great Classic! A really interesting book about two boys, a prince and a pauper, that switched places. The prince found himself an outcast and the pauper became a king. Very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it!