The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper

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The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Published:

1882

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The Prince and the Pauper

By

5
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

Tom discovered Charing Village presently, and rested himself at the beautiful cross built there by a bereaved king of earlier days; then idled down a quiet, lovely road, past the great cardinal's stately palace, toward a far more mighty and majestic palace beyond--Westminster. Tom stared in glad wonder at the vast pile of masonry, the wide-spreading wings, the frowning bastions and turrets, the huge stone gateway, with its gilded bars and its magnificent array of colossal granite lions, and other the signs and symbols of English royalty. Was the desire of his soul to be satisfied at last? Here, indeed, was a king's palace. Might he not hope to see a prince now--a prince of flesh and blood, if Heaven were willing?

At each side of the gilded gate stood a living statue--that is to say, an erect and stately and motionless man-at-arms, clad from head to heel in shining steel armour. At a respectful distance were many country folk, and people from the city, waiting for any chance glimpse of royalty th

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Almost all of Twain's works remain wonderful, succinct and perfectly readable even more than 120 years after their publishing.

In this book a fictitious account is made of the actual son (and third living child) of Henry VIII. Edward who will soon become King swaps clothes and then by mischance swaps place with a look-alike pauper who has the hard life in Charring Cross, London. Befriended by few, Prince Edward must then overcome the sudden lowering of his status, whilst at the same time Tom (the pauper) must endure a meteoric rise in his. All of this literally at the time of King Henry's death.
Twain's account is both satirical and thought-provoking in a general sense, and dramatic in the sense that the reader continues to wonder whether the Pauper or the true Prince will rise to be King upon the date of coronation.

Potential readers should not be fooled by the addition of genre for this book as being for Young Readers - indeed if anything whilst the story line seems of interest for the young, the content, satire, and real life violence confronting the main protagonists is written with the adult in mind.