Monday, March 19, 2012

A Classics Challenge March Prompt: Setting

Here's my 2nd entry for A Classics Challenge hosted by November's Autumn.This month's prompt focuses on the setting of novel. This month I'm reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I've only just started on the book so I'm just picking the questions I can answer from each level.

How has the author introduced the setting ?
The book opens in Warwick Castle but the action really begins in Camelot so I'm going with the author's description of what Camelot was like. "It was a soft, reposeful summer landscape, as lovely as a dream,and as lonesome as Sunday. The air was full of the smell of birds,flowers, and the buzzing of insects, and the twittering and there were no people, no wagons, there was no stir of life,nothing going on. The road was mainly a winding path with hoof-prints in it, and now and then a faint trace of wheels on either side"

What does it tell you about the character? about the time period?
Rarely does the very name of a place tell you so much about the time period of the story and even the characters you are bound to encounter. Mention Camelot and you are instantly transported to medieval times and King Arthur's legend.

How do you envision it? Find a few images or describe it. 

I imagine Camelot to be something like this although, really, its greatest attraction to fiction writers and romantics everywhere is that it can be anything you want. It defies any particular imagery since we don't know where exactly it was supposed to be located but I think you'll agree that it's impossible to imagine Camelot without an imposing medieval castle.

If this particular setting was changed how would it affect the course of the story? 
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is, as the title very clearly states, about a Yankee who is  mysteriously transported back in time to Camelot during King Arthur's reign. As you can imagine, this makes the setting crucial and the story cannot possibly be set anywhere else if it is to remain what it is.

I'm quite enjoying this book although I haven't made much progress. I've spent most of my reading time immersed in Irish Short Stories. Fortunately this is a short book so I'm hoping to finish it in a week or two and have a review up. Anybody else read this? 



  1. This is one I want to read!! I am planning to read a few by Twain this year, but this is actually the one that most intrigues me. :)

    1. It seems promising so far. Very like Twain's short stories.

  2. I read this years ago. I can't remember much about it, except that I did like it. I'd like to read it again xome time.

  3. I haven't read this but I actually ordered it earlier in the week after receiving a voucher. I like Twain and after reading Steinbeck's version of King Arthur's court I have been wanting to read this one.

    You are right. The very name Camelot does bring up lots of images. Doesn't really need describing.

  4. I read this so long ago it barely counts as being read anymore! I agree that Camelot evokes many different and personal images. I really enjoyed this phrase from the passage you quoted: " lovely as a dream,and as lonesome as Sunday..." That matches your image pretty well, I think.