Two young men—one a child of the London slums, the other an heir to the throne—switch identities in this timeless novel about class and culture in sixteenth century England.
Prince Edward inadvertently switches places with Tom Canty, a pauper. While both boys are interested in experiencing life in the other's shoes, they are dismayed by the realities of their new lives.
Written before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was finished, this tale contains the elements of social criticism that were later to dominate Twain's writings.
Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, left school at age 12. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher, which furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity and the perfect grasp of local customs and speech manifested in his writing. It wasn't until The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.
Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more cynical and pessimistic. Though his fame continued to widen--Yale and Oxford awarded him honorary degrees--he spent his last years in gloom and desperation, but he lives on in American letters as "the Lincoln of our literature."