A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Published in 1889, this novel is one of the earliest literary examples of time travel. Many works since (both written and not) have taken quite a bit from this book and others like it, even if they weren’t aware of the original sources.  Book Excerpt:

It was pretty severe, but I was nettled.  However, it never phazed
him; he didn’t appear to know he was hurt.  He began to talk and
laugh, in happy, thoughtless, boyish fashion, as we walked along,
and made himself old friends with me at once; asked me all sorts
of questions about myself and about my clothes, but never waited
for an answer–always chattered straight ahead, as if he didn’t
know he had asked a question and wasn’t expecting any reply, until
at last he happened to mention that he was born in the beginning
of the year 513.

It made the cold chills creep over me!  I stopped and said,
a little faintly:

“Maybe I didn’t hear you just right.  Say it again–and say it
slow.  What year was it?”


“513!  You don’t look it!  Come, my boy, I am a stranger and
friendless; be honest and honorable with me.  Are you in your
right mind?”

He said he was.

“Are these other people in their right minds?”

He said they were.

“And this isn’t an asylum?  I mean, it isn’t a place where they
cure crazy people?”

He said it wasn’t.

“Well, then,” I said, “either I am a lunatic, or something just
as awful has happened.  Now tell me, honest and true, where am I?”


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