The action begins at 9:00 am on 27 January, 1547, 17 hours before the death of Henry VIII. It all starts with the fact that exchange costumes and position in the world the Prince of Wales with a poor boy. They are both the same age and very similar to each other. A real little king is experiencing great distress among the vagrants and miscreants in different parts of the provincial Kent, while the false king suddenly endowed with gilded well-being: his worship, the terrifying limiting his impulses, he leads a sad life, sitting on the throne. And all this lasts for three weeks, i.e. to the solemn coronation ceremony held in Westminster Abbey on 20 February.
This will continue until the real king gets a holiday, but cannot yet convinced that he is the real king. But the fake king suddenly remembering the episode with the first day of their acquaintance (the place where I put the Prince with the Royal seal), proves that the new Challenger is a true king.
When I wrote this book, I primarily wanted to show the extraordinary cruelty of the laws of the time.
Mark TWAIN, referring mainly to a multi volume history of England Hume and the works of Dr. John. Hammond Trumbull and convincingly talks about the brutal laws in the reign of Henry VIII: the death penalty was given for stealing things worth more than thirty and a half pence, theft of cloth was punishable by death by hanging. The real and imaginary poisoners were boiled in oil, immersing the person in it gradually.
Of course, “the Prince and the pauper” has taken a liking to English readers. TWAIN began to make petty criticisms, for example: he used the title of “baronet” before that appeared in England.
Although the story “the Prince and the pauper” is conceived and written for children, TWAIN expressed it serious thought about man and society. A few echoes here – despite the difference in time and location – with “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and especially written a few years later “the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.
The story “the Prince and the pauper” condemns the English monarchy of the XVI century and at the same time, as already mentioned, directed against the many sides of American life. The skill of M. TWAIN picture of the main characters of the novel.
Against this background unfolds the story of mark TWAIN the story of two boys like each other so much that to distinguish between them will be possible only in the garment: one is always in silks, the other forever in rags. Probably, if not the laws of society, they from childhood could be so close, like brothers.
But though TWAIN describes the event, which is only possible in a fairy tale, the spirit of the time and the country where the characters live, reproduced on its pages with such care as if he himself lived in London for three centuries before there was “the Prince and the thief”. And striking natural resemblance of Tom and Edward are not obscured by the fact that one of them had the fate to live in the Yard Waste, the other – in the Palace of Westminster in a place where English kings.
Swapped it for the only reason that we first exchanged costumes. Dressing up in TWAIN is common, a favorite motif. On Jekova island Indians wearing Tom Huck and Joe Harper, and in the tale of Huck Fini her character dresses up as a girl, then like Joan of Arc before the reader will appear in the person of a knight – chainmail, helmet, sword. Every time there is an unusual situation, and it can be pretty funny, but maybe – and very serious. For TWAIN in this situation invariably laid a cautionary sense. Clothes – sign conventions between people, although nature knows neither princes nor beggars, nor the knights, nor common people, neither oppressors nor oppressed, nor educated, nor savages, and vagrants.
This society is arranged, what was in it every step of the way differences in social status, upbringing and skin color. And by nature all are equal. The heroes TWAIN realize that, though real life to get to try this or that mask, to play a role or, on the contrary, by all means try to get rid of the mask, from the role imposed by existing in their world order of things.
Gyu and miles were brothers by blood and bitter enemies on the merits. But Tom and Edward by blood, had each other nothing, but it was enough that they exchanged dresses, and no one could say where the Prince and the pauper where. In the slums That used only one Royal privilege had dinner in a hat, whoever sitting next to him.