I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read Mark Twain since high school. Then on a whim I picked up A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and realized what I’d missed. This dude was funny! (And by the way, he used the term “dude” way back in 1889.) In the book a Connecticut engineer receives a knock on the head and is transported back to Arthurian England. Using “modern” concepts and knowledge, he convinces people he’s a powerful magician. Supposedly Twain got the idea from a dream where he was transported back and had to struggle with putting on his armor. The scene where his character has to don his armor is classic, and I recommend the book just for that part.
We’ve always been fascinated with time-travel. While this theme goes back at least to the Eighteenth Century, it was books like Rip Van Winkle, A Christmas Carol, and H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine that stoked public interest in the theme. Of more recent time-travel books, one of my favorites is Stephen King’s 11/22/63 where Jake Epping goes back to 1963 with the goal of saving President Kennedy from assassination. King has said he had the idea back in 1971 before he wrote Carrie, the book that launched his amazing career, but didn’t want to undertake the necessary research.
When it comes to time-travel movies, there have been hundreds over the years. If I had to choose, I’d probably pick Back to the Future, and Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.
What’s your favorite time-travel book and movie?
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