Sunday, April 08, 2012

Books: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
By Mark Twain
Audio read by Carl Reiner

I don't know how I missed reading this Mark Twain classic when I was younger, but I did.

This is the story of a factory worker from Connecticut who, in the late 1800s, is conked on the head. The resulting blow sends him back in time to the 500s, when King Arthur was head of Britain.

Hilarity ensues as the Boss, as he comes to call himself, up-ends Britain and its society. He brings about factories, electricity, telephones, and other modern marvels, all of which he ultimately destroys.

The story is a great fantasy, and we're all familiar with the notion as there are many movies today that follow this line of thinking. I've seen a number of them where someone for some reason ends up backwards in time in the Age of Chivalry.

The story also had a great deal to say about society, class, and progress.

Smart guy, that Twain.


  1. You know, I don't think I've ever read the book, either--though I have seen the 1949 movie starring Bing Crosby a few times.

  2. In fact there is a link of sorts with War of the Worlds - Twain has a shocking scene of what would happen should modern warfare be unleashed on medieval chivalry, one that will appal anyone who only knows this story from the Bing Crosby film. I love the song: "I'm busy doing nothing," from that. Could be my theme song!


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