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The more reverentially loyal among the countless admirers of Sir Thomas Mallory and his delightful tales of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table may almost be shocked by the ruthless way in which their heroes have been descrated in Mark Twain's last production "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." There is a tone about the book which grates harshly upon the sensibilities of the reader-a tone which calls forth the feeling that the author would have succeeded far better had he displayed half the good taste that he has the humor. This last characteristic is the most noteworthy of the good qualities of the book which is really a combination of satire and wit. English nobility and royalty are lashed unsparingly by Mr. Clemen's strokes of sarcasm, and the reasonable fear is that he has carried his absurd exaggeration too far for any beneficial effect to result from it.
The author's style in this work, as in his others, is always bright and refreshing, but here also are occasional lapses into a lower order of wit than is worthy of the writer. As a book, however, full of situations and incidents perfectly absurd and yet highly amusing nothing could be more successful.
[A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens). Chas. L. Webster and Co., New York. 1890]
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