The Prince and the Pauper
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In Mark Twain's 1885 classic The Prince and the Pauper, Tom Canty is a street urchin in sixteenth century England. A kindly priest has taught him to read and write, but Tom can only dream of the day when poverty and hunger will no longer make life so difficult. While roaming the city one day, Tom catches a glimpse of the young Prince Edward behind the palace gates. The king's guards threaten to punish Tom if he continues to loiter by the royal property, but by chance, Prince Edward sees the boy and takes pity on him, inviting him to come into the palace. The two boys become instant friends, not troubled in the least by their differences. In fact, it is their astonishing similarity of appearance that leads the two to hatch a dangerous plot. Before they have time to consider the consequences, Tom and Edward decide to trade places, exchanging identities and lives in a daring experiment. Edward slips through the palace gates, unnoticed by the guards in Tom's borrowed clothes. Tom, on the other hand, is left to take Edward's lofty place, bewildered by the lavish surroundings and powerful position upon which he has stumbled. Little does Tom know that his secret might be in danger: Edward has hidden a very important document, something that no real prince would ever misplace. Edward is in for his own fair share of trouble when he comes face to face with Tom's abusive father. As prince and pauper contend with each other's challenges, confusion reigns supreme.
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Born Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain (1835-1910) was and is an American legend. A prolific journalist, essayist, and writer of short stories and novels, Twain had a unique gift for capturing and often laughing at the young American nation he knew. Growing up in Missouri, Twain spent his early years on the Mississippi River, which would figure prominently in the world of his later fiction. Twain worked as a riverboat pilot as a young man, but headed west when the Civil War broke out. His trip across the country and eventual years in Nevada and California became fodder for some of Twain's best works. Settling eventually in Connecticut, Twain enjoyed many fruitful years of writing, travel, and family life until he left the world, as he had vowed, with the return of Halley's Comet in 1910. Perhaps best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huck Finn, Twain is the author of many other works, including Life on the Mississippi, Letters From the Earth, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Innocents Abroad.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
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 ...
Reviewed by wsimpson3144 on Feb 19, 2009
"you should read it sometime"
Interesting and clever, but it seems to be a gimmick that has been overdone in recent years (which, I'm sure isn't the case during Twain's time - but still). Regardless, I love Twain, and would recommend this. But not strongly, probably like if we were having a conversation and in the middle of our conversation you just happened to notice the book on the coffee table, to which I responded, "yeah, you should read it sometime".
Reviewed by evie3t on Sep 9, 2008
Reviewed by sk291 on Aug 24, 2008
the prince and the pauper
this is an amazing and excellent story.
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Ratings for 'The Prince and the Pauper' by Twain, Mark