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1601 - Conversation In The Time Of The Tudors

Mark Twain

Book Overview: 

“1601,” wrote Mark Twain, “is a supposititious conversation which takes place in Queen Elizabeth’s closet in that year, between the Queen, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Duchess of Bilgewater, and one or two others … If there is a decent word findable in it, it is because I overlooked it.” 1601 depicts a highfalutin and earthy discussion between the Queen and her court about farting and a variety of sexual peccadilloes, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen’s Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at “the Social Fireside.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I soaked some handmade linen paper in weak coffee, put it as a wet bundle into a warm room to mildew, dried it to a dampness approved by Tucker and he printed the 'copy' on a hand press. I had special punches cut for such Elizabethan abbreviations as the a, e, o and u, when followed by m or n—and for the (commonly and stupidly pronounced ye).

"The only editing I did was as to the spelling and a few old English words introduced. The spelling, if I remember correctly, is mine, but the text is exactly as written by Mark. I wrote asking his view of making the spelling of the period and he was enthusiastic—telling me to do whatever I thought best and he was greatly pleased with the result."

Thus was printed in a de luxe edition of fifty copies the most curious masterpiece of American humor, at one of America's most dignified institutions, the United States Military Academy at West Point.

"1601 was so be-praised by the archaeological. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This proves that Mark Twain was the Mel Brooks of his Era. Think Blazing Saddles in the time of the Tudors.

The commentary is actually more interesting than this Twain story

Literary critic Edward Wagenknecht called
"the most famous piece of pornography in American literature."

Just to be clear, it's not really pornography, at least not by modern standards. Rather, it's a short story featuring Que

It’s a gas - but prudes might think it stinks.

Bottom Line First:: I laughed-Out loud and
In public.
NOT suitable for pre-adolescent readers.
At 40 pages, barely ten written by Mark Twain, 1601 Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors, is barely a pamphlet. The Introduction is perhaps a page or two too long but contai

"Then spake ye queene of how she met old Rabelais when she was turned of fifteen, and he did tell her of a man his father knew that had a double pair of bollocks, whereon a controversy followed s concerning the most just way to spell the word, he contention running high betwixt he learned Bacon and

I thought it was silly.

Not /just/ another book on farting in the 17th century. This is the most carefully prepared satirical piece on the topic of royal flatulence that I have yet to encounter (seems like everyone's doing some work in this area these days, doesn't it?).

Mark Twain details the dialogue of a hypothetical di

I see the point Twain was trying to make, and I appreciate it exceedingly much and though it very funny, but... from the storytelling standpoint, it was way too rushed. It needed more pages, at least to facilitate the transitions between topics.

The introduction and endnotes that accompanied the Proj

I developed a huge crush on Sir Walter Raleigh when I was 16 after being seduced by his portrait in a book of Tudor history that I was reading. Dude was handsome as hell. Anyway, it was good to be reminded that Walter, Walter, Walter farts.

don't you just know that evolution is a lie every time you come across the natural beauty of a miraculous performance of flatulence?

if evolution made any sense why would it set two essentials of social animals, communication and feeding, against each other?

how often has the development of a child's

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