The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain audiobook

The Prince and the Pauper

By Mark Twain
Read by Steve West

Blackstone Publishing
7.43 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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They look alike, but they live in very different worlds. Tom Canty, impoverished and abused by his father, is fascinated with royalty. Edward Tudor, heir to the throne of England, is kind and generous but wants to run free and play in the river—just once. How insubstantial their differences truly are becomes clear when a chance encounter leads to an exchange of clothing—and roles. The pauper finds himself caught up in the pomp and folly of the royal court, a role which is further complicated when the king dies soon after the switch; and the prince wanders horror-stricken through the lower strata of English society. Out of the theme of switched identities, Mark Twain fashioned both a fiery assault upon social hypocrisy and injustice and a riotous comedy filled with high-spirited play.

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Summary

Summary

They look alike, but they live in very different worlds. Tom Canty, impoverished and abused by his father, is fascinated with royalty. Edward Tudor, heir to the throne of England, is kind and generous but wants to run free and play in the river—just once. How insubstantial their differences truly are becomes clear when a chance encounter leads to an exchange of clothing—and roles. The pauper finds himself caught up in the pomp and folly of the royal court, a role which is further complicated when the king dies soon after the switch; and the prince wanders horror-stricken through the lower strata of English society.

Out of the theme of switched identities, Mark Twain fashioned both a fiery assault upon social hypocrisy and injustice and a riotous comedy filled with high-spirited play.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A long, very readable narrative, extravagant in its substance, but simply told.” New York Times
“Funny, adventurous, and exciting, yet also chock-full of…exquisitely reasoned harangues against society’s ills.” Christopher Paul Curtis, Newbery Medal–winning author
“The tale is full of romantic surprises, and besides being rich in historical facts and teachings, is charged with a generous and ennobling moral.” Harper’s Monthly, 1882
“The Prince and the Pauper is called by its author Mark Twain ‘a Tale for Young People of All Ages.’ We might add that it is a tale for old people of all ages as well...Its humour is delicate; its fun joyously real; and its pathos tender and deep. It does one good to read it, and that in these days is saying a great deal.” Graphic (London), 1882
“The characters come and go, live and breathe, suffer and rejoice, in an atmosphere of perfect reality, and with a vivid identity rarely to be found...The story is told with ineffable humor...full of a really admirable lesson, admirably told.” Edinburgh Scotsman, 1881

Reviews

Reviews

by Ash Ryan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A worthy fable from Twain, though the ending isn't true to his theme

Most people are familiar with the basic situation of this classic story, but there is much more to Twain's original version than to its many adaptations. Of course, the crucial fact of these two boys being born in such different circumstances at the same time and identical in appearance and meeting as they do is pretty fabulous, but then, it is intended as a fable. At root, this is a story about the arbitrariness of hereditary nobility in general and monarchy in particular, and in true Twain fashion there are many biting and hilarious scenes. However, Twain fails to be true to his own theme in his resolution, which basically amounts to "...and despite what you would expect from everything that's happened so far, they all lived happily ever after." It would have been much more powerful and memorable had they failed to prove their true identities and the pauper had remained king, and the king a pauper...but I suppose a lot of readers wouldn't have liked that ending (which would have been the point!). But in any case, Twain's story is well worth reading just as it is.

Author

Author Bio: Mark Twain

Author Bio: Mark Twain

Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.

In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.

In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 7.43
Audience: Children (8–12)
Language: English