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The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
By: (1835-1910)

The Prince and the Pauper (1882) represents Mark Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction. The book, set in 1547, tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court, London, and Prince Edward son of Henry VIII of England. Due to a series of circumstances, the boys accidentally replace each other, and much of the humor in the book originates in the two boys’ inability to function in the world that is so familiar to the other (although Tom soon displays considerable wisdom in his decisions). In many ways, the book is a social satire, particularly compelling in its condemnation of the inequality that existed between the classes in Tudor England. In that sense, Twain abandoned the wry Midwestern style for which he was best known and adopts a style reminiscent of Charles Dickens. (Summary from Wikipedia.org)

First Page:

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER

by Mark Twain

Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, to Lord Cromwell, on the birth of the Prince of Wales (afterward Edward VI.).

From the National Manuscripts preserved by the British Government.

Ryght honorable, Salutem in Christo Jesu, and Syr here ys no lesse joynge and rejossynge in thes partees for the byrth of our prynce, hoom we hungurde for so longe, then ther was (I trow), inter vicinos att the byrth of S. J. Baptyste, as thys berer, Master Erance, can telle you. Gode gyffe us alle grace, to yelde dew thankes to our Lorde Gode, Gode of Inglonde, for verely He hathe shoyd Hym selff Gode of Inglonde, or rather an Inglyssh Gode, yf we consydyr and pondyr welle alle Hys procedynges with us from tyme to tyme. He hath over cumme alle our yllnesse with Hys excedynge goodnesse, so that we are now moor then compellyd to serve Hym, seke Hys glory, promott Hys wurde, yf the Devylle of alle Devylles be natt in us. We have now the stooppe of vayne trustes ande the stey of vayne expectations; lett us alle pray for hys preservatione... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 5 reviews)

Reviewer: - December 8, 2013
I loved this book even though at some points it can be boring. I liked how there was a little history and some fiction.
Reviewer: - November 7, 2013
I really liked this book. It's a classic "walk in my shoes for a mile, and you'll gladly take your own shoes back" type of book. It's also a bit of historical fiction and while it's heavier on the fiction than it is historical, I looked up King Edward after I read the book and he really did exist while most are already familiar with his father Henry VIII for the number and treatment of his wives.
October 29, 2013
I enjoyed hearing this. The readers have just the right expression and the story is both interesting and amusing. Just like one would expect from Mark Twain.
March 26, 2013
Great reading, I enjoyed it immensely.
October 28, 2012
Compelling story that is read well.


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