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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2022 08:41:09 -0400
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From: "Daniel P. B. Smith" <[log in to unmask]>
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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 literature?