The Prince and the Pauper is a novel by American author Mark Twain. It was first published in 1881 in Canada, before its 1882 publication in the United States. The novel represents Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction. Set in 1547, it tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII.Tom Canty, youngest son of a poor family living in Offal Court, London, has always aspired to a better life, encouraged by the local priest (who has taught him to read and write). Loitering around the palace gates one day, he sees a prince (the Prince of Wales – Edward VI). Coming too close in his intense excitement, Tom is nearly caught and beaten by the Royal Guards; however, Edward stops them and invites Tom into his palace chamber.
The Prince and the Pauper
A favorite children’s book for over a century, The Prince and the Pauper is the fanciful story of two sixteenth-century boys who exchange identities. One is Edward, the young son of Henry VIII, and the other is Tom Canty, a poor London beggar. When the two boys, who happen to have been born on the same day and look remarkably alike, meet one day by chance, they decide to trade clothesand lives.