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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain, Illustrated, 1st Ed, 2nd State, 1890


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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain

Publisher: Charles L. Webster, New York
Copyright: 1890


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The book was originally titled A Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Some early editions are titled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur.

In the book, a Yankee engineer from Connecticut named Hank Morgan receives a severe blow to the head and is somehow transported in time and space to England during the reign of King Arthur. After some initial confusion and his capture by one of Arthur's knights, Hank realizes that he is actually in the past, and he uses his knowledge to make people believe that he is a powerful magician. He attempts to modernize the past in order to make people's lives better, but in the end he is unable to prevent the death of Arthur and an interdict against him by the Catholic Church of the time, which grows fearful of his power.

Twain wrote the book as a burlesque of Romantic notions of chivalry after being inspired by a dream in which he was a knight himself, severely inconvenienced by the weight and cumbersome nature of his armor. It is a satire of feudalism and monarchy that also celebrates homespun ingenuity and democratic values while questioning the ideals of capitalism and outcomes of the Industrial Revolution. It is among several works by Twain and his contemporaries that mark the transition from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era of socioeconomic discourse. It is often cited as a formative example of the "time travel" genre.

CONDITION: This book is in good condition. Hardcover. Olive boards feature titles in gilt and a knight opposite a gentleman. The titles reflect the original publishing title "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court." The word Connecticut is not present in the cover. No "S" on page 59. Front hinge cracked. The boards are worn along edges and corners with some fraying to the head/tail of spine. Floral endpapers. Previous owner's name is stamped on front flyleaf, title page, page 17, 575. Author's portrait is tipped in between frontispiece and title page. The text block is mostly crisp and clean with occasional foxing. Profusely and humorously illustrated. No "S" on page 59. A handsome volume of this classic story.

575 pages, 5" x 7.5"
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