Classic from the year 2009 in the subject American Studies - Literature, language: English, abstract: Preface THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it ...
Classic from the year 2009 in the subject American Studies - Literature, language: English, abstract: Preface THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. It is not pretended that these laws and customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it is only pretended that inasmuch as they existed in the English and other civilizations of far later times, it is safe to consider that it is no libel upon the sixth century to suppose them to have been in practice in that day also. One is quite justified in inferring that whatever one of these laws or customs was lacking in that remote time, its place was competently filled by a worse one. The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right of kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult. That the executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty character and extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable; that none but the Deity could select that head unerringly, was also manifest and indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that selection, then, was likewise manifest and indisputable; consequently, that He does make it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction. I mean, until the author of this book encountered the Pompadour, and Lady Castlemaine, and some other executive heads of that kind; these were found so difficult to work into the scheme, that it was judged better to take the other tack in this book (which must be issued this fall), and then go into training and settle the question in another book. It is, of course, a thing which ought to be settled, and I am not going to have anything particular to do next winter anyway. MARK TWAIN. A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT [...]
I don't know what was published first this book or Innocents Abroad but one or the other of them may have influenced the other one.I have read over 100 versions of the King Arthur tale and this tongue in cheek look at King Arthur is wonderful. Henry died in 1858 because the date of Hank Morgan's
burning at the stake is the same as the date of Henry's death. In any regard, considering his loss, Twain had a vision of how technology might have influenced the middle ages. Bing Crosby who played the part in the musical movie of Hank Morgan convinces the King to go out among his people as a beggar to see how his kingdom is faring. I am not sure this was in the book but it; would certainly have been one of Twain's concerns about society and superstitution.
Aug 13, 2007
Modern Inventions for King Arthur
Mark Twain has imagined how wonderful / terrible it would be to introduce all the brand new inventions (of the late 19th century) to the dark ages in England. His hero remains an optimistic Yankee to the end. His observations on human nature seem very relavent today.
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