The Prince and the Pauper

  • CHAPTER 1 The Birth of the Prince and the Pauper

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    In old London on an autumn day in the sixteenth century, a boy was born to the poor Canty family, who did not want him.

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  • On the same day, another English child was born to the rich Tudor family, who did want him; in fact, all of England was overjoyed about his birth.

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    There was much celebration throughout the nation.

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  • Everyone, rich or poor, spent several days feasting, dancing, and singing.

  • London came alive with colorful banners, splendid parades, and evening bonfires.

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    The only thing people talked about was the baby Edward Tudor, Prince of Wales, who lay wrapped in silk, unaware of his importance.

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  • Tom Canty, however, wore only rags, and he did not give anyone, even his family, cause for celebration.

  • CHAPTER 2 Tom’s Early Life

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    Tom Canty spent his childhood in a ramshackle neighborhood near London Bridge.

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  • The streets were narrow, crooked, and dirty.

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    The neighborhood’s houses were built so that their upper stories hung out over the street below.

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  • Their wooden beams were painted in different colors, which gave them a certain charm.

  • Shaped like small diamonds, their windows opened out on hinges, like doors.

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    Tom’s family lived in one room of a cramped, crumbling house on Offal Court, off Pudding Lane.

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  • Tom’s parents slept in a bed in the corner.

  • Tom, his grandmother, and his two sisters, Bet and Nan, slept on the floor.

  • Every night, they made their beds from a pile of blankets and dirty straw.

  • In the morning they threw the bedding back in a heap.

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    Bet and Nan were fifteen-year-old twins.

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