Dudes of the Round Table
Mark Twain’s 1889 fable, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, relates the “Excellent Adventures” of a modern (circa 1889) man magically transported back to King Arthur’s time – think, steam-punk Bill and Ted (Dude!).
The Connecticut the title-Yankee left behind was a society that had, for the most part, abandoned its earlier reverence for the divine right of kings, inherited titles, and aristocracy; that is, except for anglophile dudes and dudesses:
Of course that taint, that reverence for rank and title, had been in our American blood, too – I know that; but when I left America it had disappeared – at least to all intents and purposes. The remnant of it was restricted to the dudes and dudesses. When a disease has worked its way down to that level, it may fairly be said to be out of the system.
King Arthur’s Court, on the other hand, was peopled by dudes – Iron Dudes.
Daniel Carter Beard’s illustration depicts one such “Ye Iron Dude” of King Arthur’s Court - a sort-of early Sir Robin:
|Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889; Illustrations by Daniel Carter Beard.|