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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court


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Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835—1910)

 

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(1889),

realistic-satirical fantasy of Arthurian England by Clemens under his pseudonym Mark Twain.

An ingenious Yankee mechanic, knocked unconscious in a fight, awakens to find himself at Camelot in a.d. 528. Imprisoned by Sir Kay the Seneschal and exhibited before the knights of the Round Table, he is condemned to death, but saves himself by posing as a magician like Merlin, correctly predicting an eclipse, and becoming minister to King Arthur. He increases his power by applying 19th-century knowledge of gunpowder, electricity, and industrial methods; but when he attempts to better the condition of the peasantry he meets opposition from the church, the knights, Merlin, and the sorceress Morgan le Fay. He accompanies the king in disguise on an expedition among the common people, and, when they are captured, they are rescued by the Yankee's trained troop of 500 knights on bicycles. His daughter Hello-Central becomes ill, and with his wife Alisande (Sandy) he takes her to France. Back in England, he finds his work undone, Arthur killed, the land in civil war. Gathering friends in a cave with modern armed defenses, he declares a republic, fights off an attack, but is wounded. Merlin, pretending to nurse him, puts him asleep until the 19th century.

Subjects: Literature.


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Mark Twain (1835—1910) American novelist and humorist


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