I'm told he worked assiduously on sources for the Joan book.
On Mon, Aug 1, 2022 at 2:21 PM Bob Huddleston <[log in to unmask]>
> Remember Mark Twain was a novelist but not a historian. Check the various
> critiques of his alleged civil war memoirs— he was a superb storyteller but
> not worried about the historical accuracy of either the 6th century or even
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2022 at 10:38 AM Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]>
> > In the novel, the period & setting are only notionally the 6th c. MT is
> > riffing on Malory, and Malory's setting is churchified, and heavy plate
> > armor is standard, tilting is a game, "Saracens" are a category of
> > opponent, and so on. Mallory was also in on it (as was T H White) ,-- any
> > Anglo-French fellow of any military experience who died in 1471 would
> > known about cannon; he simply (and wisely, I think) opted not to speak of
> > them in his Arthurian tale.
> > If there is an extant printed solar calendar from Hank's time (MT's time)
> > that indicated a total solar eclipse visible from the someone standing in
> > any part of the British Isles at any time in the 6th c., well, that would
> > be a cool thing.
> > On Mon, Aug 1, 2022 at 8:43 AM Daniel P. B. Smith <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > > In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, the narrator says "But
> > all
> > > of a sudden I stumbled on the very thing, just by luck. I knew that the
> > > only total eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century
> > > occurred on the 21st of June, A.D. 528, O.S., and began at 3 minutes
> > after
> > > 12 noon.”
> > >
> > > When I read the book as a kid, I just took this at face value; and of
> > > course Mark Twain didn’t have any problems using unlikely coincidences
> > > his other books.
> > >
> > > But since then I’ve always wondered: are we really supposed to believe
> > > this? Or was Mark Twain poking deadpan fun at unbelievable coincidences
> > in
> > > literature?
> > >