A chance meeting between a member of the royal family and a street urchin triggers a course of events that form the basis of this enthralling story.
Tom, the pauper; and Edward, the prince, discover that not only do they share the same birthday, but they also look identical. Being the boys that they are, they decide to have some fun and exchange clothes. However, little do they know that this will land them up in the most bizarre of situations.
Inadvertently, the boys end up swapping places with each other - Tom becomes the prince; and Edward, the pauper. No one believes them when they try to explain their true identities, so they are forced to adapt to their new lifestyles, with very interesting consequences.
This well-loved novel by Mark Twain takes a humorous look at 16th century society, and the inequalities that existed at that time, and perhaps still do today.
This classic satire represented Mark Twain's first foray into historical fiction, a clear departure from the homespun wisdom and humor for which he became best known. The narrative surrounds two boys living in England in 1547, who are alike in appearance but very different in every other respect. Tom Canty is the pauper of the title, living in the slums of London with his abusive father, while Edward is the son of King Henry VIII, and heir to the British throne. Edward is anxious to cast off the responsibilities of princedom, and Tom is eager to escape his father's beatings, so they agree to temporarily switch their clothes and their social roles. Each boy struggles mightily to adapt to the everyday life of the other, as Tom can not abide by the strict rules of etiquette and ritual which dictate the behavior of royalty, and Edward is appalled by the horrific injustices and living conditions he witnesses among the poor. In the midst of their grand experiment, King Henry dies, which makes "Edward" the reigning ruler of the country, while "Tom" is tossed into prison and nearly executed because of an unfair law. Luckily, with the help of a resourceful soldier named Miles, the boys resume their rightful roles, each with a newfound appreciation of the difficulties of life at the opposite end of the class spectrum.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes, Juvenile Fiction
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- January 25, 2011
- January 25, 2011
- Mark Twain
- Manish Singh