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1601 (Librivox Audiobook)

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s/t: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors “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 overloo s/t: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors “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 peccadillos, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen’s Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at “the Social Fireside.” [Summary by Denny Sayers]


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s/t: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors “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 overloo s/t: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors “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 peccadillos, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen’s Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at “the Social Fireside.” [Summary by Denny Sayers]

30 review for 1601 (Librivox Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    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 dinner party and their search to discover the originator of an "entrail originating foul fog." In a way, it's like the first Mystery Dinner Theatre. Colorful metaphors are abound, and a lack of analogie 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 dinner party and their search to discover the originator of an "entrail originating foul fog." In a way, it's like the first Mystery Dinner Theatre. Colorful metaphors are abound, and a lack of analogies he does not lack for. This book was quite unexpected. A short, quick read that left me entertained and laughing. But more importantly, I was very impressed with the writing and the language used so much that I'm prepared to mark this book as a classic. Yes, a classic work on flatulence. Done.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Illiterate

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

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    I thought it was silly.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜

    "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 ye ingenious Jonson, until at last ye Old Lady Margery, wearying of it all, saith 'Gentlee, what matterth it how ye shall spread the word? I warrant Ye when he use your bollocks ye shall not think of "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 ye ingenious Jonson, until at last ye Old Lady Margery, wearying of it all, saith 'Gentlee, what matterth it how ye shall spread the word? I warrant Ye when he use your bollocks ye shall not think of it; and my Lady Granby, be ye content, let the spelling be, ye shall enjoy the beating of them on your buttocks just the same, I tow. Before I had gained my fourteenth year I had learnt that then that would explore a cunt stop'd not to consider the spelling o't.' Oh my word... It's hard to believe this comes from the same guy who wrote Huckleberry Finn and The Mysterious Stranger...actually, it's not, considering it's Mark Twain we're talking about. Still, the borderline level of pornography this story reaches is still one that is hard to beat, even in modern day where erotica and sexual content in literature and film has become more commonplace and accepted. If you want to read a 20-page kindle story of Renaissance aristocrats (including Queen Elizabeth!) talking about farts, coitus, boners, limp willies, feces, urine, semen, vaginas, pubic hairs, horny priests, testicles, cunninglingus, and Shaxpearean erotica, then this glorious piece of literature by an American mastermind is for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    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 Project Gutenberg version were fascinating, although I couldn't quite tell what era the were written in. They seemed pretty modern. Edit: Reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, it absolutely amazes me t 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 Project Gutenberg version were fascinating, although I couldn't quite tell what era the were written in. They seemed pretty modern. Edit: Reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, it absolutely amazes me that some readers can STILL find this crass and unacceptable. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? But then, I suppose, at least this work can be openly published now. That's... something.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sahani Perera, The Book Sherpa

    Short Note: Debauchery in its finest attire does not seem to eclipse the illuminous white moon of the ‘nonpareil’ British buttocks in the Elizabethan court. Mark Twain catapults his wit at themes of politics and sex (secret escapades); his sovereign mind reigns over the minions as he wields his dexterous nib on his satirical locution.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Meintzer

    So hilarious! The queen and her court fart and discuss farting, masterbation and oral sex.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phrodrick

    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 contains a few funny stories and establish the case for this book as being true Mark Twain humor. The last few pages document the exact history of references made in the text of the conversation, have some 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 contains a few funny stories and establish the case for this book as being true Mark Twain humor. The last few pages document the exact history of references made in the text of the conversation, have some of their own humor and added to my appreciation. '*'*'* I have long suspected that the man who wrote dark stories like: The Man who Corrupted Hadleyburg, The War Prayer, and made such cynical remarks as can be found in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court among others was not the living proof of the past as a place where no published word was ever inappropriate for the grammar school classroom. Having read in a Samuel Clemens biography that he was careful to have his wife censor, I mean edit his every word, I was more suspicious. As is made explicit in the introduction Clemens grew up and worked among people of rough language and with an appreciation for skilled profanity. Further the case here is made that he was an artist in the deployment of profanity and both a spontaneous and practiced user of same. 1601 was intended to be a small privately published joke. It to be circulated among selected readers. It is Mark Twain speaking before a small audience one known to be tolerant of the rude and safely removed from his wife’s interventions. The few pages of his text relate a supposed conversation between Queen Elizabeth and a few of the people of her day who may have been invited to entertain her. This touch of historic authenticity speak to the fact that Clemens was a close reader of this time period with a personal interest in the coarse humor of that period. The subject matter of the conversation is bathroom humor and a few naughty sexual innuendos. For me getting to know that Mark Twain had more in him than carefully edited family humor was a relief. Something like the relief from allowing certain internal gases to be released. Although in this case the ensuing laughter was more genuine and less from embarrassment.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    The commentary is actually more interesting than this Twain story Literary critic Edward Wagenknecht called 1601 "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 Queen Elizabeth I, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Shakespeare, the Duchess of Bilgewater, Sir Walter Raleigh and a few other people all in a closet talking about passing gas and sex. Sound strange? Well, it is an The commentary is actually more interesting than this Twain story Literary critic Edward Wagenknecht called 1601 "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 Queen Elizabeth I, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Shakespeare, the Duchess of Bilgewater, Sir Walter Raleigh and a few other people all in a closet talking about passing gas and sex. Sound strange? Well, it is and only so-so funny. 3/4 of this download is a fairly interesting commentary on the history of the story and about the characters. We learn that Twain wrote this as a diversion after the publication of Tom Sawyer (while he was working on Huckleberry Finn) during a time of writer's block. Twain showed it to some friends who published a few copies and then it snowballed. Twain's 1601 went "viral" before there was an internet, apparently. See all of my reviews of various short works by Twain at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/searc...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tettey

    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 communication skills not been hampered by being told to be quiet at the dinner table. and all because we talk by passing wind out of the wrong hole. imagine the possibilities! 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 communication skills not been hampered by being told to be quiet at the dinner table. and all because we talk by passing wind out of the wrong hole. imagine the possibilities!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    A story about passing gas. Not so much.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom Brashear

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

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Listened to the audio recording from the LibriVox online library. This piece is a satire on several levels. The first & last sections are concerned with "who wrote this fiction" and "where was this work first published"; which may well amuse librarians, book collectors, or those with a dry sense of humour. Those folk might rate this tome higher than I. It would seem Mr Clemons intentionally obscured the true authorship for a few years. Either way the jokes are directed at those more solemn member Listened to the audio recording from the LibriVox online library. This piece is a satire on several levels. The first & last sections are concerned with "who wrote this fiction" and "where was this work first published"; which may well amuse librarians, book collectors, or those with a dry sense of humour. Those folk might rate this tome higher than I. It would seem Mr Clemons intentionally obscured the true authorship for a few years. Either way the jokes are directed at those more solemn members of society. The middle section is the actual fictional conversation of royalty & friends after a meal which may have included strong spirits - and is a near equivalent of the movie Animal House or the more raunchy radio comedies of the 1940's. Farts & sex. Accusations, denials, & chatter. Personally I suspect that this was written for a few, or even a single, of Mr. Clemons acquaintances. The fact that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience is testament to the ongoing depravity of human civilization. Feel free to read other reviews of 1601; Conversation as it was in the Time of the Tudors - likely they will be better written.

  15. 4 out of 5

    José Paredes

    "Thou'lt tickle thy tender maidenhedde with many a mousie-squeak before thou learneſt to blow a harricane like this." This is my official introduction to the works of Mr. Mark Twain. So far so good. Of course, I'm aware 1601 isn't very characteristic of his writing style. In this short story, Queen Elizabeth I and a group of famous figures of the Tudor era like Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh and Ben Jonson, discuss various subjects of grave importance, including but not limited to: 1. who farted an "Thou'lt tickle thy tender maidenhedde with many a mousie-squeak before thou learneſt to blow a harricane like this." This is my official introduction to the works of Mr. Mark Twain. So far so good. Of course, I'm aware 1601 isn't very characteristic of his writing style. In this short story, Queen Elizabeth I and a group of famous figures of the Tudor era like Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh and Ben Jonson, discuss various subjects of grave importance, including but not limited to: 1. who farted and the merits of said fart 2. the proper spelling of the word 'bollocks' 3. lots and LOTS of dirty jokes. Yes, it might seem childish. But the silly dialogue, coupled with the historical setting and characters, produces such a bizarre dissonance that I can't help but laugh.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Completely worthless. The introduction is longer than the story. The afterward is longer than the story. The story is utter nonsense. Contrived solely to use as many vulgar terms as possible in as short of a time as possible. It wasn’t funny, but it tried to be. It wasn’t sexy or erotic, but it tried to be. It was pointless. I am unsure how anyone could find the story “good”. Finding it silly? Ok. I didn’t, but I can live with someone having that opinion. Good? No.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Francis M. Van Meter

    Funny This is a hilarious irreverent short story by Mark Twain, but you need to understand "ye olde English" to appreciate it. Funny This is a hilarious irreverent short story by Mark Twain, but you need to understand "ye olde English" to appreciate it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tina Louise

    Well then..... Uhm.... I don't recommend giving this book to say.... Pre-teen or younger... Perhaps it would even be awkward to give to your high school child... Lol... WOw... Well then..... Uhm.... I don't recommend giving this book to say.... Pre-teen or younger... Perhaps it would even be awkward to give to your high school child... Lol... WOw...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Ross

    I was working my way through a collection of Twain's shorter writing when I found this. I Laughed out loud. I was working my way through a collection of Twain's shorter writing when I found this. I Laughed out loud.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Péter

    FARTS

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Skoien

    Hysterical!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    I. LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT MARK TWAIN. A VERY TALENTED GIFTED MAN HE WAS,

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie Karnehm-Esh

    Elizabethan fart jokes and TWSS as imagined by Mark Twain.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Antoinette Van Beck

    hahaha, this is a funny one. fart jokes and falsetto (in the librivox version) for dayzzz.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Since discovering the availability of free downloads of classic literature, I've returned to the writings of some of my favorite authors. My previous experience with the writings of Mark Twain were limited to "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer". I am now enjoying exploring the diversity and depth of MT's adventues in writing! This particular short story is bawdy, and explicibly "naughty", in its' chararacterization of Queen Elizabeth and her court, as they spend an evening discussi Since discovering the availability of free downloads of classic literature, I've returned to the writings of some of my favorite authors. My previous experience with the writings of Mark Twain were limited to "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer". I am now enjoying exploring the diversity and depth of MT's adventues in writing! This particular short story is bawdy, and explicibly "naughty", in its' chararacterization of Queen Elizabeth and her court, as they spend an evening discussing farting and fornicating. My 2-star rating is because this type of story is "not my cup of tea" (I did not enjoy the demeaning language and discussion of sex; however, I will admit that I did have a chuckle or two on the vivid descriptions of flatulence!). I can appreciate that Mr. Twain had some fun in placing this discussion in the court of Queen Elizabeth, and I imagine that he had even more fun, playing with both subject matters, in 16th century English language! I listened to this book, as a free audiobook download...not a bad price for a 20-minute, 2-star, short story!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    My uncle obtained a bootleg copy of this in the 1950s or thereabouts, when it still couldn't be published openly. Nice to see that things have changed enough that it's now published openly. In his Anatomy of Swearing, Ashley Montagu points out that Elizabethan ribaldy was rapidly eviscerated during Puritan times in England, and that, despite a few attempts at revival (notably during the Restoration period), it hasn't really recovered since. This book represents Twain's attempt to resuscitate the o My uncle obtained a bootleg copy of this in the 1950s or thereabouts, when it still couldn't be published openly. Nice to see that things have changed enough that it's now published openly. In his Anatomy of Swearing, Ashley Montagu points out that Elizabethan ribaldy was rapidly eviscerated during Puritan times in England, and that, despite a few attempts at revival (notably during the Restoration period), it hasn't really recovered since. This book represents Twain's attempt to resuscitate the old traditions. But it wasn't very successful in his time, because the censors were so strict. So it went underground for many years. Compared to present-day fart jokes, it's pretty tame--but it has a nice use of language that's typical of Twain.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thom Swennes

    1601 is not what I expected! It is as oddly non-Twain as one could imagine. That is probably why I gave it three stars. This year I have vowed to read Mark Twain’s entire works so when I came across this little known publication, I couldn’t let it go unread. This short story isn’t short on the crude and vulgar (this, in itself, is so un-nineteenth century) and I know why his other works have overshadowed it. Still, in retrospect, I found it a fresh change and not entirely without merit. If you h 1601 is not what I expected! It is as oddly non-Twain as one could imagine. That is probably why I gave it three stars. This year I have vowed to read Mark Twain’s entire works so when I came across this little known publication, I couldn’t let it go unread. This short story isn’t short on the crude and vulgar (this, in itself, is so un-nineteenth century) and I know why his other works have overshadowed it. Still, in retrospect, I found it a fresh change and not entirely without merit. If you have delicate tastes, this isn’t a book for you but, on the other hand, if you want to see an unknown side of one of America’s greatest authors, pick it up and give it a go!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Although this is a great example of bawdy Elizabethan repartee with a good dollop of Twain humor, the subject matter wasn't exactly something I could enjoy. Still, it was just a short story. If it had been longer, it might have moved on to more interesting subjects. Although this is a great example of bawdy Elizabethan repartee with a good dollop of Twain humor, the subject matter wasn't exactly something I could enjoy. Still, it was just a short story. If it had been longer, it might have moved on to more interesting subjects.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kitty Tomlinson

    Quick sketch by Twain while suffering writer's block puts together the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Shakespeare, etc., in a closet talking about flatulence and sex. Funny, especially considering the wide range of characters present and the historical context. Quick sketch by Twain while suffering writer's block puts together the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Shakespeare, etc., in a closet talking about flatulence and sex. Funny, especially considering the wide range of characters present and the historical context.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darius

    Mark Twain trying to scandalize with farts and cunts. The entire piece consists of s single scene with raunchy dialogue and little point. I can understand its appeal ina different time, but its only of "historical" interest now. Mark Twain trying to scandalize with farts and cunts. The entire piece consists of s single scene with raunchy dialogue and little point. I can understand its appeal ina different time, but its only of "historical" interest now.

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