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The Prince and the Pauper (1881) (Mark Twain Works)
by Mark Twain
ISBN 0195101383 / 9780195101386 / 0-19-510138-3
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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The Prince and the Pauper is one of Twain's best-known and best-loved books throughout the world. In this historical tale set in mid-nineteenth-century England, the Prince of Wales and a lookalike pauper exchange places by accident just days before Henry VIII's death. Each boy finds that his "father" believes him to be mad; each is befriended by his "sister;" and each wakes from sleep thinking that his trying experiences have been just a bad dream. Along the way each learns crucial lessons about manners, morals, justice, and compassion. Mark Twain immersed himself in English history to write this novel and passed on reference books to the artists so that their illustrations could be historically accurate. He was "enchanted" with the pictures they produced. His daughter Susy was convinced that The Prince and the Pauper, a book her father subtitled, "a tale for young people of all ages" was "the best book he has ever written." [via]