The Books By Mark Twain Have Captivated Audiences Of All Ages. The Prince And The Pauper Shares The Timeless Message Of Playing The Role Which You Were Born To Perform

One of America's greatest storytellers is undoubtably Samuel Clemens, more commonly known by his pen name, Mark Twain. Books by Mark Twain span continents and eras.

Books By Mark Twain

From A Connecticut Yankee In King Author's Court to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain has captivated audiences and readers of all ages for decades.

In one of his most famous works, The Prince And The Pauper, Twain emphasizes the timeless message: be who you are and do not wish to be in anyone else’s position. In this novel, Twain invents one of the best adventures of the 16th century.

This is a fiction which follows the consequences of Prince Edward's attempt at playing pauper for a day.

Throughout the story the reader follows both the young, elaborate, and proud Prince Edward of England and the poor, plain, and humble pauper, Tom Canty of the streets. When these two meet each other, they also meet the adventure of their lives.

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1. Books By Mark Twain Always Have An Arresting Literary Element Which Is His Particular Storytelling Style

Books by Mark Twain always have a literary element that is simply put yet uniquely intriguing. As he describes the lifestyle differences between the main characters in The Prince and the Pauper, Twain does not leave out circumstances and situations which define these two.

book prince and the pauper

For example, Twain opens the novel by describing the events surrounding the birth of two different people during this time period. He first describes the birth of Edward, the prince of Wales.

When Prince Edward is born all of England rejoices:

"There was no talk in all England but of the new baby, Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay lapped in silks and satins, unconscious of all this fuss, and not knowing that great lords and ladies were tending over him-and not caring either...All England had so longed for him, hoped for him, and prayed God for him, that now he had really come, the people went mad for joy."

An interesting historical note here is the fact that Prince Edward was the heir that Henry VIII hurled the entire country into chaos over, starting with his divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon to the Act of Supremacy.

Another note on King Henry VIII that Mark Twain tastefully portrays is that, in the eyes of Edward, the king is a very loving father. But Edward is surprised to learn when he is playing Tom's part, that the king is not liked by his subjects for his already mentioned faults. 

Tom Canty is a poor pauper boy. Although he is just as important in God's eyes as Edward, his birth is dreaded by all those surrounding him in the poor house in which he lives. 

Mark Twain describes his house as:

"...small, decayed, and rickety, but it was packed full of wretchedly poor families. Canty’s tribe occupied a room on the third floor...The mother and father had a sort of bedstead in the corner; but Tom, his grandmother, and his two sisters, Bet and Nan were not restricted-they had all the floor to themselves, and might sleep where they chose."

One Of The Best Books By Mark Twain

books by Mark Twain

Did you know that Mark Twain wrote a beautiful biography of Saint Joan of Arc? With his unique storytelling style, Twain writes as an eye witness making the story very interesting and moving. 

I have read this book three times and it never grows old. It was this book that inspired me to choose Joan of Arc as my confirmation saint. It is an easy read and a truly lovely story that will touch the hearts of everyone in the family. 

-Mary Bowen, director

These Two Polar Opposite Characters Get Thrust Into A Lifestyle Which They Know Nothing About And Must Either Play The Part As Best They Can Or Look Like Complete Madmen

Although living in luxury all his life, Edward longs for just one chance to get dirty and play with other boys his age. One day, he seizes his chance when he sees a poor beggar boy and lets him into the palace. 

prince and pauper characters

Tom Canty is a dreamer. He often dreams he is a royal prince. Anyone can imagine his joy when, by mere chance, he sees a real life prince - Prince Edward! 

Edward gets carried away with the tales of fun and mud that Tom tells him. It is then that he talks Tom into trading his rags for Edward’s fine garments. 

This is where Edward makes his great mistake.

Tom and Edward are only going to play the roles of each other for a day but then everything gets confused and they both get dragged into a lifestyle which they know nothing about for not one day but for many. Will they ever get back to their proper places?

This is a story of comedy and tragedy, faithfulness and betrayal, friendship and hatred, prisons and royal palaces. 

Although Edward’s parts are more amusing as he is going about claiming his royalty and being laughed at and mocked, Tom’s parts are also very entertaining as he has never had luxury and does silly things like crack nuts with the royal seal and things of that sort. 

This is a great story and, like all books by Mark Twain, it is hilarious!

2. Various Prince And The Pauper Adaptations Have Been Brought To The Screen - From Hallmark And Disney To Barbie, Some Dedicated To Mark Twain's Novel And Others Ingeniously Follow With A Twist

disney prince and the pauper

There have been many renditions of this novel and other books by Mark Twain including the Disney The Prince and the Pauper short with Mickey Mouse made in 1990, The Prince and the Pauper made by Hallmark in 2000, and Barbie's first musical, Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper, made in 2004.

Of course, they all follow the same theme of the prince (or princess) who meets a look-alike pauper and accidentally gets mixed up, each being forced to live the other's life. At the same time, each film also holds its own differences and spins on the classic tale.

The Mickey Mouse version tells the story with Big Bad Pete being the villain who, when he discovers that the "prince" is only a poor pauper, plans on finding the real prince and killing him before betraying Tom Canty as an imposter. He then plans on ruling the kingdom himself. Before his evil plan can be played, however, the real prince is reinstated and discovers that he has no subject more loyal to him than Tom.

The 2000 Hallmark Version Is The Most True To The Book, Following The Exchange Of Clothes Between The Prince And The Pauper And The Various Adventures They Each Must Brave Playing The Role Of The Other Boy

prince and the pauper movie

Prince Edward suddenly finds himself in the direst of poverty with a drunken and abusive father. He sees his people as they see each other, leading him to a resolution to raise these people to a higher quality of life when he is king.

He also realizes how truly disliked his father, King Henry VIII, is by his subjects, which surprises him because he has never heard his father spoken of with anything but utter respect (on penalty of death).

Meanwhile, Tom Canty the pauper, after first enjoying the revels of palace life, is alarmed when he realizes that everyone expects him to behave like the prince, something he has no idea how to do. He starts by denying that he is the prince and tries to explain the mistake.

He is immediately ushered into the king's presence and is forced to swear never to deny that he is the prince again. Alone and alarmed at the horrible responsibility before him, Tom resigns himself to learning the ways of the palace and the role of the prince, still hoping that Edward will eventually be found and restored to his rightful place. 

But there is a new twist to the old story: the regent has wicked intentions. When he discovers that Tom really is a pauper-proxy for the prince, he decides that things are better this way; he can easier control someone who has no idea what he is doing. It is his intention to let things play out and use this imposter as a pawn for his own advantage.

Tom is falling prey to the regent's scheme, and Edward seems to be getting farther and farther away from where he belongs. Can Edward make it back to the palace before the damage becomes irreversible?

Books By Mark Twain Have Even Made It Into A Barbie Film As The Princess And The Pauper - The Beloved First Barbie Musical

prince and the pauper variations

In this story, Princess Anneliese's kingdom meets near ruin when the mining fails. She is then engaged to King Dominick, the king of a neighboring kingdom in hope that their union will save the kingdom. Anneliese is not too keen on getting married to someone she has never met but is willing to do so for the good of her kingdom.

The queen's advisor, Preminger, had other plans to remedy the kingdom's disaster. He is disappointed to find that the queen went ahead and made her own plans for Anneliese's future. Preminger decides that more drastic measures than stealing the gold from the mines must be employed to get him on the throne. 

Anneliese's tutor, Julian, has his own reasons for regretting her engagement. In a burst of generosity, he brings Anneliese into the village to "have the first and last taste of freedom before getting married next week".

While in town, she meets Erika, a young woman who has spent her entire life trying to work off her parents' debts to a wealthy dressmaker. At their meeting, both are astounded to find how closely they resemble one another.

When Preminger kidnaps the princess with intentions of playing the hero and marrying her when he restores her to her mother, Julian knows that something is not quite right with Preminger's behavior. He finds Erika and gets her to dress up like Princess Anneliese to buy him time to find out what is going on. 

But time starts running short when Preminger makes a drastic change of plans, fixing his focus on the queen and presenting himself as the only way of saving the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Erika and King Dominick are falling in love during their short meeting while she is disguised as the princess. Can Julian and Anneliese escape Preminger's evil plan and make things right before the kingdom is ruined?

A wonderful cartoon that both the boys and girls will enjoy with fun music, funny characters, and amazing plot twists!

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