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When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. Thus what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture grew into a disturbing satire of modern technology and social thought. Thestory of Hank Morgan, a nineteenth-century American who is accidentally returned to sixth-century England, is a powerful analysis of such issues as monarchy versus democracy and free will versus determinism, but it is also one of Twain's finest comic novels, still fresh and funny after more than 100years. In his introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how A Connecticut Yankee develops from comedy to tragedy and so into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for new generations of readers. This edition reproduces a number of the original drawings by Dan Beard, of whom Twain said 'he notonly illustrates the text but he illustrates my thoughts'.
M. Thomas Inge is Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of the Humanities at Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia. He has received awards from the American Humor Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle for his contribution to the study of American humour and Mark Twain.