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About the Author: Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

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. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.

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.

However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility.

Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".

Excerpted from Wikipedia.


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Cover Image

Find the best price forA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Goodreads rating: 3.74

Paperback, Published in Jan 2011 by Simon & Brown

ISBN10: 1936041774 | ISBN13: 9781936041770

Page count: 334

Hank Morgan, a 19th century Hartfordian, awakens to find himself inexplicably transported to Arthurian England in 528.
The story begins in a 1st person narrative in Warwick Castle, where a man details his recollection of a tale told him by a stranger who's personified as a Knight thru his language & familiarity with armor.
After a brief tale of Launcelot slaying two giants in 3rd-person narrative, Hank Morgan enters &, given whiskey, is persuaded to tell his story. Described thru 1st-person narrative as a man familiar with firearms & machinery, he'd become a superintendent in firearms manufacture. He describes the beginning of his tale by illustrating details of a disagreement with subordinates, where he sustained a head injury caused by a man named Hercules. Passing out, he describes waking up beneath an oak in rural Camelot where a Knight catches him trespassing, & after establishing rapport, leads him to the castle.
Hank is ridiculed for his appearance & sentenced to burn at the stake. Luckily, this coincides with the 528 solar eclipse, which he'd learned about in his own time. Recalling this, he convinces everyone of his power by making it seem he causes the eclipse at the moment he's to be burned. He's liberated, given the position of principal royal minister & treated with awe. Celebrity brings him a title: "The Boss."
Hank learns about medieval practices & superstitions. He outdoes fake sorcerers & miracle-working clergy. Merlin becomes jealous. Despite being a court officer, Hank's willing to go among the people to promote new economic policies as well as democratic & modern principles. Arthur chooses to join him on an excursion during which he exposes himself to smallpox in order to help a peasant. Despite this noble act, he's unwilling to abandon medieval ways. He eventually causes the arrest of the incognito Hank & himself by being unable to act like a commoner. Hank & a group of bicycle-riding knights rescue them.
Hank industrializes the country behind the back of the ruling class. He creates schools which teach modern ideas & English, removing new generations from medieval concepts. He constructs factories producing modern tools & weapons. He marries. They have a daughter. While vacationing with them in France, he learns Arthur has died fighting his nephew Mordred. Hank establishes a republic, declares himself ruler & the people revolt. Merlin finally uses a spell to put him asleep to return to his own time.

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