The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

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 opposite lives and social ranks creating a broad distance between them? Furthermore, that a prince and a pauper would then engage in conversation, or make the (almost!) fatal decision of switching lives?

This is historical fiction at its finest. Clemens took on a “what if?” plot to try his hand at alternative history. Let us ask ourselves… “What could have happened in 1547, if Prince Edward left the throne empty for a look-alike peasant boy to rule his kingdom? Nothing could go horribly wrong. Right?”

I found Clemens to be quite witty in his writing style. He makes many uses of alliteration and similes, so that the story becomes whimsical in its telling, sometimes poetic-sounding — and just about always a bit comical.

I really liked reading The Prince and the Pauper — this being the first of Mark Twain’ works that I’ve read. I now look forward to reading more from this famed author.

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