A nineteenth century American travels back in time to sixth century England in this darkly comic social satire.
Hank Morgan is the pinnacle of nineteenth century Yankee practicality. After getting hit over the head with a crowbar in a brawl, he awakens to find that he has traveled back in time to sixth century England, the domain of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. His basic knowledge of such subjects as astronomy and mechanics quickly gains him a reputation as a powerful magician, and earns him the nickname "The Boss." He wastes no time in taking advantage of the situation and making certain improvements to Arthur's kingdom: laying ground wires for telegraph and telephone services; establishing a newspaper; and working to undermine the feudal system and replace it with democracy. But the social class system, the innate superstitions of populace, and the power of the church prevent Hank from effecting a lasting change.
Written during a time of personal philosophical change for Twain, this dark comic novel begins as a critique of monarchic government, but ultimately satirizes the modern technology the Boss tries to bring to the Britons, culminating in a terrifying, apocalyptic vision of war and chaos.
This edition includes: -A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information -A chronology of the author's life and work -A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context -An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations -Detailed explanatory notes -Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work -Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction -A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, left school at age 12. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher, which furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity and the perfect grasp of local customs and speech manifested in his writing. It wasn't until The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.
Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more cynical and pessimistic. Though his fame continued to widen--Yale and Oxford awarded him honorary degrees--he spent his last years in gloom and desperation, but he lives on in American letters as "the Lincoln of our literature."