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 have
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]>
> 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 in
> 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