Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Clemens 1835 - 1910)
Connecticut Yankee, first published in 1889, is the story of a nineteenth-century mechanic who travels back in time to the days of King Arthur. With his prodigious memory and scientific acumen, he attempts to modernize medieval society. An example of early science fiction, this is the first novel to travel back in time. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is written as a satire on the utopian days of King Arthur. Broad strokes of violence that might offend today's readers were intended as burlesque humor. The book has been variously classified as science fiction, humor, satire, and utopian literature.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was written when Twain was in severe financial straits. His self-made fortune had evaporated as his investments in the Paige Typesetting Machine and in a publishing company failed. He had begun this story a few years earlier, after reading Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur; now, he finished it to earn money to support his family. His pessimism is intertwined with his humor.
Hank Morgan, a resourceful mechanic and supervisor in the Colt Arms Factory, is knocked unconscious during an argument and awakens in Medieval England during the days of the Round Table. Concerned about societal problems, he sets out to transform the country with nineteenth century technology and values. Throughout his adventure, he is beset by problems: Merlin the Magician's jealousy, animosity from the Knights of the Round Table, and the ignorance and superstition of the people. In the end, the technology is destroyed and Merlin casts a spell on Hank, which leaves him sleeping for thirteen hundred years. Hank reawakens in 19th century Connecticut.
|Librarian Talk ... about Books!
Books offer helpful information about historical background, settings, and authors. Literary criticism may be compiled in a book. The catalog is online at Lone Star College Library Catalog. If you want criticism of the novel itself, try the search words Connecticut yankee and criticism. For setting and historical background, search for Arthurian romances, King Arthur or Morte d'Arthur.
REF PN3385 .N68, vol. 20 Novels for Students
|Librarian Talk ... about Finding Scholarly Journal Articles!
So you need scholarly journal articles? At one time, you would find hard copies at a research library. Today, they are compiled in electronic databases. Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. If you need assistance finding a particular article, contact the Reference Librarians and they will help you get it. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if necessary.
Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID or library card to login to these online journal databases.
These databases are available to Lone Star College System students on campus or with your library card number. If you are a student at another school, check with your librarian for availability.
Search the Internet
|Librarian Talk... about the Internet!
The internet can be a wonderful source of original documents. You can find reviews from the time period when the book was published, background information about King Arthur and Mark Twain, and electronic copies of the book. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:
GETTING HELP FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Librarian Talk...About Getting Help
Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following aids.
Citing Sources Using MLA Style | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.
Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
The Learning Center | Check the TLC hours for in-house tutoring.
Page by Sue Goodwin, Librarian, 3/28/2000.Updated 8/2012LL