|1889 frontispiece by Daniel Carter Beard|
TUESDAY, November 14th at 7pm: A Selection from A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT
In Mark Twain's 1889 novel, a Yankee engineer from Connecticut is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur, where he fools the inhabitants of that time into thinking that he is a magician, and soon uses his knowledge of modern technology to become a "magician" in earnest, stunning the English of the Early Middle Ages with such feats as demolitions, fireworks, and the shoring up of a holy well. He attempts to modernize the past, but in the end he is unable to prevent the death of Arthur and an interdict against him by the Catholic Church of the time, which grows fearful of his power.
The American humorist wrote the book as a burlesque of Romantic notions of chivalry after being inspired by a dream in which he was a knight himself, severely inconvenienced by the weight and cumbersome nature of his armor.