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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Paperback – Jan 1 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Dodo Press; Ill edition (Jan. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406567949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406567946
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 744 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-While Mark Twain is most often identified with his childhood home on the Mississippi, he wrote many of his enduring classics during the years he lived in Hartford, Connecticut. He had come a long way from Hannibal when he focused his irreverent humor on medieval tales, and wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The hit on the head that sent protagonist Hank Morgan back through 13 centuries did not affect his natural resourcefulness. Using his knowledge of an upcoming eclipse, Hank escapes a death sentence, and secures an important position at court. Gradually, he introduces 19th century technology so the clever Morgan soon has an easy life. That does not stop him from making disparaging, tongue-in-cheek remarks about the inequalities and imperfections of life in Camelot. Twain weaves many of the well-known Arthurian characters into his story, and he includes a pitched battle between Morgan's men and the nobility. Kenneth Jay's narration is a mix of good-natured bonhomie for Hank and more formal diction for the arcane Olde English speakers. Appropriate music is used throughout to indicate story breaks and add authenticity to scenes. This good quality recording is enhanced by useful liner notes and an attractive case. Younger listeners may need explanations of less familiar words, and some knowledge of the Knights of the Round Table will be helpful. Libraries completing an audiobook collection of Twain titles will enjoy this nice, but not necessary, abridgement.

Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

"Dufris's enthusiastic narration is perfect; the deep drawl he produces might very well be the voice of Twain himself, and his pacing and comedic timing will delight listeners." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "rimshots_used_books" on July 13 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is not a "good" book, in that it fails to achieve its supposed purpose (which is to deprecate chivalric romance). Yet the sheer fascination of this incredibly poigniant failure is enough to keep me returning! It nothing like the "cute" kids versions and movies that it has inspired. Prepare for a vitriolic horror-ride that seems to prove nothing but man's futility--i.e., welcome to Twaine's latter period. Mark Twain's work of psuedo-realistic phantasy is perhaps the most marked and fascinating failure in literature. In the novel Twain sets science and technology against chivalry and romance. Twaine attempts to overthrow a thousand years of fuedal and romantic tradition by means of scientific and economic efficiency. Yet (without revealing too much) in the end the Yankee must praise the romantic hero King Arthur; has used the very superstitions he disdains to dupe the people; come to love an archetype of the simple medieval personality he despises; and, amazingly, has threatened to destroy an entire civilization. In the end the only thing the Yankee proves is that modern man is far too arrogant for his own good, and that it is all too easy to become the villain you hate. So what was Twaine's point? Supposedly to prove the vast superiority of the modern age over the Chivalric Age. But did Twaine actually believe his utterly amazing ending carried out his task? I doubt it; I think the book is a classic example of Twain's disbelief of everything. But the world my never know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum on April 14 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book--at times disjointed, rambling, self-referential, and irreverent--is decades ahead of its time. It's an interdisciplinarian's dream as Twain takes on economics, geography, politics, ancient and contemporary history, and folklore with equal ease. Mostly though, one appreciates his knack for exaggeration, the tall tale, and the outright lie. It's a triumph of tone, as he lets you in on his wild wit, his keen observation, and his penchant for bending the truth without losing his credibility as a guide.
The book's structure is also modern: He recounts his days as a paddlewheel steam boat "cub," piloting the hundreds of miles of the Mississippi before the Civil War, then, in Part 2, returns to retrace his paddleboat route. Although a few of his many digressions don't work (they sometimes sound formulaic or too detailed) most of the narrative is extremely entertaining. Twain seems caught between admiration and disdain for the "modern" age-but he also rejects over-sentimentality over the past. He writes with beauty and cynicism, verve and humor. Very highly recommended!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the novel, A Connecticut in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain shows the differences between modern society, and sixth century Great Britain. Hank is a self-assured factory worker who knows how to make just about anything. The protagonist, is mysteriously transported back to the sixth century, when struck in the head by a crowbar.
He uses his vast knowledge of explosives and metals to quickly become a leader in the monarchy. His democratic thoughts and ideas become his ambition as he strives to make Great Britain a republic. Twain's novel shows how much of a change society has gone through from the sixth century to the time of the writing of the novel. He also show's how little education anyone received in the sixth century, even the members of royalty are not very wise. Hank's mediocre education is far superior to anybody's in the whole monarchy, because of the advances in education to the present.
Twain shows that the laws of the sixth century were made for the few against the many. At one point a woman is put to death for stealing just enough food to feed her baby. Hank tries, throughout the book, to get the royalty to realize how unfair their laws are to the common man.
This book makes you feel angry at points about the horribleness of the monarchy, yet ashamed because similar acts still go on in the present. An example would be how the rich and privileged still get the best of everything, while the have-nots get the last and worst of everything, both now and then. Twain has a comic sense in the book, and yet he still shows a contrast between the comic and the serious. This book should be a classic for Twain's creative portrayal of the sixth century, yet also because it makes us think about our society today.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur¡¦s Court¡¨ is a hilarious story written by Mark Twain. The story starts out talking about a young man named Hank Morgan, who was somehow transported back to the 6th century in England. He started out thinking that he arrived in an asylum, where everybody thought they were in the time of King Arthur. He later proved himself that he was in the 6th century by witnessing a total solar eclipse which he knew it was going to occur on the twenty-first of June A.D. 528 at 3 minutes after noon. After that event, he was given place in the government, and continuously used his cleverness and knowledge he learned in the 19th century to improve and prefect the country he was living in, during the 6th century. He used his knowledge in the field of science and performed what the people in the medieval times, called magic; and as time progressed he became the country¡¦s most powerful advisor. During this period of time, he kept a journal, which is what most of this book is.
Unlike most of the other stories, the plot of this story was consisted of two time periods, the modern 19th century and the medieval 6th century. The main character, Hank Morgan, was mysteriously sent back and became someone like Jesus because he knew what was happening and what is going to happened already in the history lessons when he was still in the 19th century. A literary device Mark Twain used in this book that made this book very amusing was all the satires Hank used to mock the people in King Arthur¡¦s court. For example, when a page was introducing himself to Mark, Mark said, ¡§Go ¡¥long, you ain¡¦t more than a paragraph.¡¨
I recommend this book for people who want something light and less serious, because this book will give you a good laugh.
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