Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Follow the Authors
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (AmazonClassics Edition) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Kindle, November 14, 2017|| |
|$2.99 to buy|
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
Mass Market Paperback
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
After Hank Morgan of Hartford, Connecticut, takes a blow to the head, he inexplicably awakens in sixth-century Camelot. At first lost and confused, the time traveler soon realizes that he can use modern knowledge and his ability to foretell the future to his advantage. Consequently, he is granted a place in the king’s court as Arthur’s right-hand man. When the Catholic Church grows fearful of his power, the Connecticut Yankee aims higher and concocts a grandiose plan to bring American ideals to sixth-century England to change the future.
In his imaginative comedy, Mark Twain infuses the eternal story of King Arthur with wit and satirizes past social hierarchies as well as nineteenth-century meritocracy.
AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.
Revised edition: Previously published as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, this edition of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.
About the Author
Known best by his pen name, American novelist and humorist Mark Twain (1835–1910) grew up as Samuel L. Clemens in the tiny town of Hannibal, Missouri. His home on the Mississippi River inspired his classic novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which showcase and skewer the American South through coming-of-age stories that challenge cultural norms.
Twain’s own life was filled with adventures—he joined the Confederate Army, prospected for gold, and piloted a steamboat on the Mississippi before becoming a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. There, he honed the colorful, witty storytelling style that would make him one of America’s most beloved authors. A short story about mining camp life—“Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”—gave Twain his first big break. He went on to write The Innocents Abroad, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B0756Z7ZNY
- Publisher : AmazonClassics (November 14, 2017)
- Publication date : November 14, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 1825 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 462 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : B09FSCFYY6
- Best Sellers Rank: #51,047 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #22 in Literary Satire Fiction
- #28 in Classic British & Irish Fiction
- #55 in Humor & Satire
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2021
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book was strangely interesting to me, and for many good reasons. I read this book for a school assignment and finished it way before my project deadline (very rarely do I finish a book for school so quickly). I enjoyed how Mark Twain developed the main character’s conflicting attitudes throughout the story. For every moment he seemed very unsympathetic and mean there was an equal moment where he was the most fragile and empathetic being in the entire story. To me, Hank’s character represented the duality of human nature as well as its ability to adapt to a variety of different situations. Although Hank stated to originally hate and despise the culture and society of the time he was transported to, across the book you see him become accustomed to it as he adapts, builds relationships, and even, later on, builds a family for himself in this accursed time. But even so, he still holds the idea that his time is superior. It isn’t until toward the end of the book, but eventually, Hank is able to advance England with the introduction of the telephone and even names the child he has “Hello Central”, which is what telephone operators would say when you called the telephone office in his time. In the midst of all the comedy and satire throughout the book, that plot point was the big dash of irony that I feel defines Hank’s character and made him human and relatable.
What I didn’t like about the book was the childish criticism about the Catholic Church, which wasn’t exactly wrong but was expressed in a way that got boring over time. The Church was a big part of the governmental system in the 6th century, and so as such, it has a large impact on the course of the book. The Yankee, coming from America where the separation of church and state exists as well as most likely living amongst more Protestants, outwardly hates on the Catholic Church and their toxic influence over the peasants of England as well as the nobility in his commentary. His opinions about The Church are well supported and reasonable, but over time it gets boring as he always seems to blame everything on them. It seemed like a very childish way of expressing his genuine distaste, and it got old when The Church didn’t seem to have a very direct role in the story for most of the book (though they do later on). It made me think of when in Scooby-doo they always say “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids,” except in Hank’s case it is more annoying and would say “And I would be able to revolutionize England if it wasn’t for that meddling Church!” Hank would also say it at least once every chapter. I mainly got irritated because it was the SAME thing EVERY time he mentioned them. But luckily, that was one of the only things I had a problem with in the book, and I have more things that I liked about it than not.
My favorite part of reading this book was getting to experience the peculiar sense of humor that Twain littered throughout the entire book. The time the book was written in was full of nothing but tragedy, and we are constantly hit with the realities of slavery, disease, and great poverty that plague the land. Naturally, you’d think that a time with such suffering would be hard to make very comedic (especially to the point of making a reader laugh aloud), but there’s something about how Mark Twain utilizes ‘dark humor’ that makes parts of the book hilarious. There are two parts in particular in which I think this ‘dark humor’ made me laugh the most. The first was rather early on and broke me with a single sentence, “For some reason or other the queen had the composer hanged after dinner.” The queen in question was King Arthur’s half-sister, Morgan Le Fay, who is presented to be one of the most heartless characters in the book. What had me on my knees in laugher was how casually her cruelty was expressed. There wasn’t a reason specified for the hanging, she didn’t do it because he had angered her or because he had said something outwardly mocking her, she just did it “[f]or some reason or other”. The second instance was simply the title of one of the later chapters, “The Yankee and the King Sold as Slaves.” The King and Hank end up going undercover with the common folk, but in the process get captured and sold as slaves, not even selling for more than the average slave. While it is commenting on a very serious subject, imagining such a high and mighty figure such as the legendary King Arthur getting sold as a slave, being worth no more than about average, is priceless to me. While reading it I thought “where’s your divine right now?” Both instances are probably moments that in another book, could be the most devastating and intense scenes in the entire story. But with Mark Twain’s way of twisting the situation, sometimes you can’t help but laugh.
Overall, this book has become one of my favorites out of all the stories I’ve read for school. If you are someone who takes books very seriously, I would definitely stay away from this book. But if you’re someone who is okay with a little bit of questionable humor that is in no way meant to be taken seriously, then I would definitely recommend reading this book. Besides the satire and comedy, this book also has a lot to offer in terms of intricate themes and complex messages that I feel can only be truly understood if you read the book itself. As the author of this book, Mark Twain never ceased to amaze me. I feel that through his writing, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court could potentially offer something to anyone who reads it and is definitely worth the time to finish.
In the year 1879, Hank Morgan ( his name is only mentioned once ), an arms factory foreman, gets into a fight with a man named Hercules ( no, not him ) and wakes up under a tree in King Arthur's Camelot in the year 528! He is captured by the less then adequate knight, Sir Kay. At first Hank thinks he is in an insane asylum, but then as he is brought before The Knights of the Round Table to receive justice, he realizes that he really is in the sixth century. He is stripped naked and sent to the dungeon and sentenced to be burned at the stake the next day. The page, Clarence, visits Hank in the dungeon and is convinced by Hank that Hank's a super magician. Clarence becomes Hank's right hand man. Hank remembers that the next day will have a total eclipse of the sun. He warns King Arthur and Merlin the Magician that he will blot out the sun if they attempt to burn him at the stake. The next day they don't believe him and as they start the fire under Hank, the sun starts to go dark! The King wants Hank to stop it and become the second most powerful man in Camelot. Hank waits for the eclipse to pass and now becomes known as The Boss to the chagrin of Merlin, now a vowed enemy of The Boss.
The Boss with the help of Clarence secretly starts many modern businesses, such as; a telephone system, a newspaper business, a railroad, army and naval academies, an arms factory, an electric company and an advertising company with the knights displaying the ads on their armour, just to mention a few of his enterprises. King Arthur requires The Boss to go on a quest with the damsel, Sandy, to save enslaved princesses from three ogres! It turns out to be a pig sty with three farmers. He returns to Camelot a hero with his now beloved Sandy. He then has many adventures in Camelot, such as; jousting tournaments with the knights armed with lances and The Boss with a pistol ( who do you think won? ), the blowing up of Merlin's Tower, the magical repair of the fount at the Valley of Holiness, and many more. At this point The Boss decides to go incognito with King Arthur into the realm of the peasants. They find many injustices and wrongs amongst the people, but before they can return to the castle, they are captured by a earl and sold into slavery. They are accused of murder and sentenced to hang. The Boss escapes and calls Clarence for help. The next day just before they are to be hanged, Lancelot and 500 knights arrive on bicycles to save the day!
The ensuing years are good for The Boss, his wife Sandy and their daughter, Hello-Central ( that's right! ). Unbeknownst to The Boss, Merlin has made his family sick, so The Boss takes his family away from England and goes on a long cruise/ vacation to heal. That's when :The expression [the shit hits the fan] is related to, and may well derive from, an old joke. A man in a crowded bar needed to defecate but couldn't find a bathroom, so he went upstairs and used a hole in the floor. Returning, he found everyone had gone except the bartender, who was cowering behind the bar. When the man asked what had happened, the bartender replied, 'Where were you when the shit hit the fan?' [Hugh Rawson, "Wicked Words," 1989] This is the best part of the book, the last 100 pages, or so. I never could have predicted the ending. The interesting thing about this book is that Mark Twain is the narrator! The book starts out with Twain on a tour of the Warwick Castle. He is approached by a old man seemingly knowledgeable about the castle and the knights. The old man starts to tell Twain his story from thirteen centuries ago, but grows weary at the Warwick Arms, and before retiring to his room, he hands Twain the manuscript to read. This was a great book and if you only read one classic this year...make it this one!
I think A Connecticut Yankee was probably my favorite Mark Twain work. I was familiar by that time with King Arthur, mostly in the form of T.H. White's The Once and Future King. A Connecticut Yankee was something different -- it confronted Arthurian legend with modernity. Arthur's court as presented in A Connecticut Yankee is a squalid band of ignorant brigands. There is no magic. Characters such as Merlin as charlatans. The only magic, in fact, is the real magic of technology, which the Boss carries in his brain and deploys to bring about something like a miniature Gold Age.
Though a child, I think I appreciated that this was a more realistic and probably more accurate picture of medieval England than those of the legends and fairy tales. To a ten-year-old kid, it was an eye-opener.
Top reviews from other countries
I can't really tell if this is a good story or aged badly
Seeing as I am unlikely to get my hands on an original copy this is a very good second best and a great way to enjoy an classic old tale.