Introducing a fresh, practical approach to Mark Twain's enduring classic -- affordably priced, smartly packaged, and editorially ideal for students and general readers.
Hank Morgan is the pinnacle of 19th century Yankee practicality. After getting hit over the head with a crowbar in a brawl, he awakens to find that he has travelled back in time to 6th century England, the domain of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. His basic knowledge of such subjects as astronomy and mechanics quickly gains him a reputation as a powerful magician, and earns him the nickname "The Boss". He wastes no time in taking advantage of the situation and making certain improvements to Arthur's kingdom: laying ground wires for telegraph and telephone services; establishing a newspaper; and working to undermine the feudal system and replace it with democracy. But the social class system, the innate superstitions of populace, and the power of the church prevent Hank from effecting a lasting change.
Written during a time of personal philosophical change for Twain, this dark comic novel begins as a critique of monarchic government, but ultimately satirises the modern technology the Boss tries to bring to the Britons, culminating in a terrifying, apocalyptic vision of war and chaos.
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On Nov. 30, 1835, the small town of Florida, Mo. witnessed the birth of its most famous son. Samuel Langhorne Clemens was welcomed into the world as the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. Little did John and Jane know, their son Samuel would one day be known as Mark Twain - America's most famous literary icon.
At 13, Samuel left school to become a printer's apprentice. After two short years, he joined his brother Orion's newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. It was here that young Samuel found he enjoyed writing.
At 17, he left Hannibal behind for a printer's job in St. Louis. While in St. Louis, Clemens became a river pilot's apprentice. He became a licensed river pilot in 1858. Clemens' pseudonym, Mark Twain, comes from his days as a river pilot. It is a river term which means two fathoms or 12-feet when the depth of water for a boat is being sounded. "Mark twain" means that is safe to navigate.
Twain began to gain fame when his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" appeared in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. Twain's first book, "The Innocents Abroad," was published in 1869, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1885. He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches.
Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910, but has a following still today.
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