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Publisher's Summary

A remarkable resemblance of two boys born on the same day in the 16th century became the basis of Mark Twain’s first try at historical fiction. He had begun writing the year before with his to-be-famous Huckleberry Finn manuscript. However, he became discouraged with that story and decided to either pigeonhole it or maybe even burn it. He had come up with an idea for a play, but instead turned it into the novel you’re about to hear, that of The Prince and the Pauper. This resulted in a fable that was almost a fairy tale, one that became a fine story for young people of all ages. 

There were many unjust laws in the 1500s, and Twain delved into them with his usual remarkable insight. The success also led to a resumption of the Finn adventures, thus preserving one of his major accomplishments, one that took about seven years to eventually complete. Listen now to the story of Tom Canty and Edward VI.

Public Domain (P)2021 John D. Rayburn

What listeners say about The Prince and the Pauper

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great classic tale told in a hurry

Remembering that this is a famous author's first attempt at a fiction novel I found the story captivating yet a little laborious in listening to Old English verbiage and rhythm and sometimes straying in tangents; but, the piece is written as if a family member is recounting a story to you and feels like a good bedtime story in spite of the many unhappy events suffered by the characters. Some inspiration may pop up to dig further into this period of history after hearing detailed descriptions of social burns, laws and general activities of the time and place. The narrator has an appropriate voice, although too nasal for my preference and does an OK job distinguishing between characters in voice but reads as if he's getting paid by how quickly he can blurt out and finish the text rather than provide a story teller's relaxed presence that brings you into the story. When he reads his own bio at the end, it becomes apparent why his style seems rushed and forced.... lots of news and sports broadcasting.