uperThe Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain was a fun book to read, but it didn’tmatch the normal profile of a Mark Twain novel. Everything that I have read by him wasset in the Mississippi River Valley before the Civil War. The Prince and the Pauper was setThe story revolves around a Prince and a Pauper if you can imagine that. BothPrince Edward Tudor and Tom Canty were born on the same day. Edward was welcomeby the whole country as an heir to the throne, but Tom’s family didn’t want him becausethey were too poor as it was. The book mentions this and then keeps to the boys teenageTom grew up in Offal Court. He had a very tough life. His dad made him go out onthe streets and beg all day and if he didn’t get enough money his father and grandmotherwould beat him .
If he thought he raised enough money for a day, he would go to FatherAndrew’s church and learn to read and speak Latin. Tom’s biggest wish was to see a real prince dressed like royalty. He got this wishone day when he was walking by the king’s palace and saw a boy his own age. He gotcloser to the fence and a guard grabbed him and pushed him away. The prince saw all ofthis and told the guard to let Tom in the palace. Prince Edward fed Tom and the startedtalking about each other’s lives and switched clothes.
Then, Edward noticed the bruise onTom’s hand and went to punish the guard. Dressed in Tom’s old clothes, the prince wasthrown out of the palace by the guard. Tom was suddenly Edward, Prince of Wales andEdward, Tom Canty of Offal Court. Tom was not refined enough to be a prince.
While atstate dinners, he had no clue what to do and just began to stress out King Henry.Tom’s father found Edward and took him home and beat him because he hadn’tcollected enough money from begging. He kept proclaiming that he was the Prince ofWales, but no one believed him.That night, Tom’s father found out he was wanted formurder and began to run. Edward was then able to escape. Edward continued to try and convince people he was the real Prince of Wales. Hemet Miles Hendon who defended Edward’s story in public, but didn’t believe it. Milestook Edward home with him.
On the way to Miles’s home, Edward go the news that KingHenry VIII, his father, died. Miles treated Edward like a king; eventhough, he didn’tbelieve he really was a king. Edward dubbed Miles a knight. When they arrived atHendon Hall, Miles’s home for which he hadn’t been in seven years, they found outMiles’s father was dead, his brother was in charge of the family business, and his love wasmarried to his brother and refused to see Miles. Hugh, Miles’s brother, had Miles andEdward thrown in prison saying that they were beggars. While in prison, Edward realizedhow bad and inhuman the British justice system was. Miles was sentenced to behumiliated. This upset Edward and he was bound to change things if he could ever get hisAt first, Tom couldn’t wait for Edward to get back, but as the days went on Tom gotmore and more comfortable with being King Edward with the coronation fastapproaching.
As Tom was to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, Edward stepped out andsaid, “I am the King!” Tom jumped off the throne and was going to let Edward take hisrightful place as King of England. No one in the church believed him, but they had a testto prove who was the prince or now king and who was the pauper. The great seal had beenmissing for weeks and the Prince of Wales should know where it was. Edward found it andwas immediately crowned as King Edward VI.Because of his past on the streets, King Edward ruled for his people and was loved. He didn’t live for very much longer, but he made Miles the Earl of Kent, stripped Miles’sbrother of everything he had and cast him into prison, and Tom Canty was designated asChief Governor of Christ’s hospital, which was a place for orphans and children of thepoor to go get food and learn. He was extremely missed after dying.
I really enjoyed this book. I don’t know what it is about Mark Twain, but I really enjoyevery book he wrote. I saw Disney’s the Prince and the Pauper as a child and I guess thatis what got me first interested in it. I would strongly recommend this book to someone. Ithink part of the reason I enjoyed it was that he let me experience the royal life and thevery poor life with a little history at the same time.Bibliography: