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The Prince and the Pauper

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  109,982 ratings  ·  2,284 reviews
This treasured historical satire, played out in two very different socioeconomic worlds of 16th-century England, centers around the lives of two boys born in London on the same day: Edward, Prince of Wales and Tom Canty, a street beggar. During a chance encounter, the two realize they are identical and, as a lark, decide to exchange clothes and roles--a situation that brie ...more
Paperback, 100th anniversary edition, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Signet (first published 1881)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Mario the lone bookwolf
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: twain-mark
The soft, more or less for the time, child friendly, today possibly not so much anymore, variation of Twains´ interpretation of the Middle Ages that is more realistic hardcore dark in his underrated masterpiece A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur´s court.

Especially the contrast to this one is big, it´s so white- and greenwashed that it´s exaggerated and unrealistic happy go lucky elements are in stark contrast to the darker tones that are somehow describe
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Prince and the Pauper, (1881), Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper is a novel by American author Mark Twain. It was first published in 1881 in Canada, before its 1882 publication in the United States.

The novel represents Twain's first attempt at historical fiction.

Set in 1547, it tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII.

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Henry Avila
Imagine you're a nine-year-old boy grungy rags for clothes, belly empty a sadistic father beats you if you don't beg for money (and get it) . Afraid of life an endless, joyless struggle to survive. The only relief from the grim reality is sleep, for a few hours on the dirty floor in something not quite a shelter. Maybe dream of a better existence, then a few hours after a fantasy, everything you desire is no problem to obtain. And the child is now the King of England ! That's the plot of Mark Tw ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this several times as a kid, and loved it. Twain humor and class commentary about the hypocrisy of the upper classes. And a fantasy, turned weekly into a Disney movie that sapped all the Twain and satire out of it. Then many many spinoff books and movies. But the idea of a beggar switching places with a prince, that still has a draw in it. The Homes of Celebrity tv shows. The Lives of the Rich and Famous. This isn't Twain's best work, but it is Twain, so is always worth reading. ...more
The Prince and the Pauper is a good young adult fiction written by Mark Twain. It is also my introduction to him. The story is set up in the time of King Henry VIII reign and this historical setting was what really induced me to read the book. I'm not well versed with British history, but I have read a fair amount of detail of the reign of Henry Tudor. I was therefore a little familiar with the gruesome laws and the unfair persecutions that were carried out in England at that time period.

The st
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.6 stars. Very good. In my opinion, better than 'Sawyer' but not as good as 'Huck' or 'MS'. A fun read - too bad I didn't read it when I was a lil kiddo. I woud definitely appreciate it more then. ...more
It is a story of two young boys Edward and Tom Canty. One born as a Prince of England, and another in a poor household. Fate brought them together, and they switch places due to identical resemblances. Tom, who always imagined being a royal now living his dream life. While Edward, a gullible and gentle Prince, who never knows the suffering of any kind, is starving, beaten, and called names.

I pick this book because a few months back, I watched The Princess Switch movie starring Vanessa Hudgens.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First and foremost, I would like to thank our friend Luis C. for recommending this fine book to me. On my own, I had forgotten how much I enjoy Mark Twain. And I did not even know that he was the dude that penned this story.

Do you remember Patty Duke? The television series about two teenage girls, identical twins (cousins?) and the antics they got themselves into?

Well, this was nothing like that. So why did I just toss in that show in this review? Don’t know.

Anyway, we all know the skeleton of t
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Upon moving to Glenview, I had no reliable bookstore I was aware of, save the bigass Barnes & Nobles near the train station by work. Such a shop near my train station isn’t quite helpful, as the maximum I have at such a locale is about 6 minutes, and it’s a 3 minute walk from the station. Upon finding Books-A-Million, I was quite content; in what I believe to be my first visit there, I had a hankering (for some unknown reason) to get a copy of the much-cited Mark Twain classic “The Celebrated Ju ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of Mark Twain. Tom Canty is a poor boy in the London slums. His birth only brings more poverty to his already dirt poor family. Edward VI is the long awaited heir to the English throne. They are born on the same day and look so alike they can't believe it. They exchange clothes and Edward VI ends up being thrown out of the palace by guards who think he is the poor boy he looks to be. Both boys have difficulty fitting into the other's lives.

Tom comes to like the l
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will review later.
Mikey B.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a delightful story this is! It is filled with wit and humor as one would expect from Mark Twain.

We follow our two main protagonists in their re-adjustments to their new lifestyles as they inadvertently swap roles. So many interesting themes and nuances are interwoven into the narrative mix – such as be careful what you wish for. Neither character is painted as being immaculate, as their defects manifest themselves as they undertake their new positions. The contrasting lifestyles within the
BAM Endlessly Booked
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Catching up with the classics #8

Pete daPixie
The first thing to say is I NEVER read historical fiction. NEVER EVER. So that is why I picked up this book by Samuel Clemens. I just love what came off the silver gilded pen of this persona from Missouri. I could easily have gone higher than three stars if Mr Twain had extended this short novel. Short, but sweet with honeyed prose.
'The Prince and the Pauper' may appear in the guise of a feeble children's story. An unlikely tale of rags and riches set in Tudor England. Yet, Mark Clemens, or is t
The prince and the pauper is a lucidly written masterpiece by Mark Twain. Easily understandable, the book is a display of sheer genius. All the characters have thoroughly explained, and as you go along, you fall in love with most of them, especially the prince and the Knight Miles Hendon. The former is a personification of pampered innocence while the latter is an epitome of self-less generosity. The story doesn't take long to shift gears, and as soon as the two protagonists move places (by mist ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is a nice classic piece of historical fiction by one of the USA's most beloved authors, Mark Twain. The story sounds light at first, but it's a real eye-opener for Prince Edward as he takes on the life of a poor person and sees how many of his subjects live and suffer. ...more
Sarah B
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I've heard other versions of The Prince and the Pauper ( I think we all have) but this is the first time I've read the actual book. And I had no idea that this story was originally created by Mark Twain. And it's a truly wonderful story too! It's incredibly easy to read, it's fast moving and it's full of adventure.

This is the story of two boys who were born at the same time and who look alike. One is Prince Edward and the other is a poor boy living in the slums named Tom. Tom starts dreaming of
David Sarkies
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like good literature
Shelves: adventure
Mark Twain's Trading Places
9 November 2012

I had heard of this book but was never really sure what it was about, however when I read the first few chapters I suddenly realised that I have seen the story before – Trading Places. Okay, there are a few differences, such as the themes, however the plot is pretty much the same. Clements does indicate that this was not his original idea, suggesting that he has heard this story from some other place, though he is unsure as to the truth of it or not. Th
Kara Babcock
This is not my first time to the Mark Twain rodeo, but it has been a long time since I last visited. Twain is not high on my list of priorities, sorry to say. However, this lovely edition of The Prince and the Pauper found its way into my possession, so I decided to challenge those priorities. While I don’t think I will be rushing to devour the rest of Twain’s oeuvre just yet, this book has certainly given me a more mature appreciation of Twain as a writer. After all, the last time I encountered ...more
Ramon Remires
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-of-5
I thought I was enlightened and knew everything. I thought I had read every masterpiece ever written, and then Luís C. came and recommended this book to me and I went back to my actual size and confessed with shame that I had never read Mark Twain's writing.

So I quickly went to Google and checked who was the writer and then I read this book. Immediately I was fascinated - less than the story itself and more than the writing and the great ideas behind it considering the date of writing itself.

Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Twain's humor always has an absurdist element to it, and this is particularly strong here. Therefore I'm not a big fan of this one, much preferring The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which I think is Twain's best.

I hadn't before thought about the link between this one and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which I have fond memories of from childhood (and I also plan to reread, to see if it holds up). For some reason this late 19th century American author from rural Missouri seemed a b
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Prince and the Pauper is a children's classic written by American author, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).

This is a fun bit of literature to read. Children will especially enjoy the story since it centers upon two boys as they share the adventure of a lifetime. Tom Canty, a poor boy with an abusive father and only crumbs to eat for supper; Prince Edward, monarch of the Tudor dynasty and heir to King Henry VIII. What circumstances could possibly lead these two to even meet, with completely opposi
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything by Mark Twain is good. I only knew this from a kids' (or maybe Disney) version. The most amusing thing was Twain's Shakespearian flourishes. Check out this little bit of "dialogue" from the dying king:

"He is mad; but he is my son, and England's heir; and, mad or sane, still shall he reign! And hear ye further, and proclaim it: whoso speaketh of this his distemper worketh against the peace and order of these realms, and shall to the gallows! . . . Give me to drink -- I burn: this sorro
This book was excellent. It was hard to get into at first because I brought it to read in school, and because some of the diction is quite wordy and eloquent, it was hard to read with background noise. However, this is to be expected of any classic, so I didn't give up, I just read it at home instead where it was quieter and there were less distractions. In the beginning, I set myself to read 25 pages a day and I did, no more and no less, but eventually (about halfway through the novel) I starte ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't express my feeling enough on how much I really love this!
andddddd straight up to my favourite pile!

And Miles Hendon! Oh my... how I love his character.
FANTABULOUS !!! Stayed up til 3:30 am reading this, and possibly some of the best use of time I’ve ever committed to. Just phenomenal. If this is Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction, it’s clear everyone else on the planet should desist from writing, period... perfection has already been achieved. Done. Finito. The footnotes alone are fascinating... and I don’t think I’ve ever said that before. Has anyone?? All characters are richly hewn, all subplots handsomely paid off, and Twain’s dept ...more
Renée Paule
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating tale with a tremendous amount to teach everyone who cares to reflect on it.
Sarah Grace Grzy
DNF. Maybe I'll finish it someday. :) ...more
Oct 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the royal concept and confusion, very good if you enjoy Shakespere.
I really disliked this book, for some apparent reason. I do not enjoy reading in Shakespearan language, and the wording really confused me which distracted me to understand the concept of the story.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work

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