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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) (Oxford Mark Twain)
by Mark Twain
ISBN 0195101413 / 9780195101416 / 0-19-510141-3
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is one of Twain's best-loved tales. A pioneering work of science fiction, it vibrates with slapstick comedy and serious social commentary as well. In this complex and ambitious tour de force, an inventive nineteenth-century resident of Hartford named Hank Morgan travels back in time to sixteenth-century England where he tries to introduce modern technology and political ideas. Along the way he founds the first tabloid, the Camelot Weekly Hosannah and Literary Volcano, organizes a game of baseball between armor-clad knights, and "keeps up a steady fire of flippancies, so frequent that no reader registers all of them on the first go-around," as Louis Budd reminds us in his introduction. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is Twain's most complex and disturbing meditation on technology, as well as a powerful consideration of politics and power. The original illustrations by Dan Beard, chosen by Twain himself to illustrate the book, brilliantly mix buffoonery with sharp social satire in an effective counterpoint to the text. By turns side-splittingly funny and somberly thought-provoking, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is Twain at his finest. [via]