About the Pontes Books Blog

Salve! This inaugural blog post is really an introduction to things that are to come! Here at Pontes Books we are passionate about the Classics, but are even more passionate about making them understandable and relevant in a modern world. Though the primary purpose of our bridge and parallel versions of Classic novels is to help with understanding, what about relevance? Here’s where the blog comes in!

Each post will focus on one of four major categories, with a few wildcards thrown in every once in a while. Each chapter will have four dedicated posts before moving on to the next. Here are the categories:


For each novel, we analyze all of the words in the original version. First, we track the number of times each word is used. Then we go through the words that are used ten or more times in the book and pull out the ones that fit into the following categories: tier 2 words, tier 3 words, and Classical words.

Tier 2: Words that are not used in every-day speech, but that will often be seen in other texts.

Tier 3: Words that are specific to that topic (e.g. words dealing with royal life in The Prince and the Pauper.

Classical words: These words a really like a combination of tier 2 and tier 3 words. They are generally specific to Classic texts only (tier 3), but can be seen across multiple Classic texts (tier 3).

Photo credit: https://prakovic.edublogs.org/2015/07/14/building-vocabulary-tier-by-tier/

Each vocabulary-related post will focus on one word from one of these categories (or a group of similar words). We will examine the basics like definition, part of speech, etc., but we will also dive into the etymology and also modern uses.

One caveat related to these posts is that not all Pontes Books versions may contain the words selected. Since the vocabulary has been simplified in most bridge versions of the book, certain vocabulary terms will not appear in those versions. If you are reading the Red, Orange, Purple, or Pink versions, you will be guaranteed to find the selected words.

Relevant Current Event

Though many of the events of Classic novels are certainly outdated, the themes and conflicts are universal and eternal. For each of these posts we will scour the internet for modern (or mostly modern) news articles that relate to some of the characters, events, and themes in the most recent novel.

Historical Tidbit

Many Classical authors include locations, names, events, etc. that were familiar to people at the time the books were written. However, now some of those references have become outdated and the general public are no longer familiar with them. This type of post will focus in on the relevant historical facts that help to understand the references and allusions that may go over our heads due to time.

Fun Fact

Last but not least, these posts will pull out random fun facts that can be related to the corresponding chapters. These could really come in many different shapes in forms and help to bring the FUN and increase your random knowledge for future trivia nights.

The Prince and the Pauper – Conclusion – Fun Fact

In the Conclusion of The Prince and the Pauper, we find out that Lady Edith did indeed recognize Miles when he was at Hendon Hall. Can she be forgiven for lying? The Prince and the Pauper Conclusion Fun Fact focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“When the mysteries were all cleared up, it came out, by confession of Hugh Hendon, that his wife had repudiated Miles by his command, that day at Hendon Hall—a command assisted and supported by the perfectly trustworthy promise that if she did not deny that he was Miles Hendon, and stand firmly to it, he would have her life; whereupon she said, “Take it!”—she did not value it—and she would not repudiate Miles; then the husband said he would spare her life but have Miles assassinated! This was a different matter; so she gave her word and kept it.” (p. 206)

What is Duress?

  • The act of using threats or psychological pressure to force someone to behave in a way that is contrary to their wishes
  • Could include using force, false imprisonment, coercion, threats, or psychological pressure
  • Can be physical or economic

Requirements of Duress

  1. The party is in immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death
  2. The party believes that the perpetrator will carry out the threat
  3. There is no opportunity to escape safely, except by committing the unlawful act

Duress vs. Necessity

  1. Necessity defense involves committing an illegal act in order to prevent the threat of harm to another person
  2. Can also be used in court
  3. Duress example – an accountant is forced to sign a document authorizing illegal transfer of funds at gunpoint
  4. Necessity example – night nurse is forced to break into pharmacy to get life-saving drugs for a patient who is dying

How can Duress be used as a legal defense?

  • Doesn’t justify committing a crime, but can be used as an excuse
  • Defense must prove a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have also committed the crime if they were in that position
  • Not typically used as a defense to murder (but might be reduced to manslaughter)

Other Facts About Duress

  • If a person is acting under duress, they are not acting of their own free will
  • If an individual (or business) is under financial duress, they may lack good solutions to money problems (which could lead to crimes)
    • Could be caused by someone losing their job, foreclose on their home, experience a health crisis, etc.

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The Prince and the Pauper – Conclusion – Historical Tidbit

In the Conclusion of The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain reiterates the importance of Edward’s short, but important reign. But was he really as merciful as he is described in the book? Our Historical Tidbit for the Conclusion examines…


Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more.

The description of Edward can be seen below:

“Yes, King Edward VI. lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them worthily. More than once, when some great dignitary, some gilded vassal of the crown, made argument against his leniency, and urged that some law which he was bent upon amending was gentle enough for its purpose, and wrought no suffering or oppression which any one need mightily mind…The reign of Edward VI. was a singularly merciful one for those harsh times. Now that we are taking leave of him, let us try to keep this in our minds, to his credit.” (p. 208)

Highlights of Edward’s Reign

  • Became king at age nine
    • A regency was established
    • Edward Seymour (his uncle) became Protector
  • The Church of England became stronger
    • Introduced the Book of Common Prayer (1549)
    • Got rid of Catholic practices (like rosaries, statues, and stained class) and allowed clergy to be married
    • These led to rebellions

Highlights of Edward’s Reign

  • Duke of Northumberland overthrew Seymour
    • Edward’s diary says “Today the Duke of Somerset had his head cut off on Tower Hill” in 1552
    • His brother was also killed
  • Northumberland’s son married Lady Jane Grey
    • Edward accepted Jane as his heir
  • Died of tuberculosis in 1553 at age 15 (Jane took the throne)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Conclusion – Vocabulary

This is our LAST vocab word for The Prince and the Pauper! The vocab word for Chapter 26 focuses on a word that revolves around the idea of respect. The vocab word is…


Keep reading or watch the video below see how the word ‘reverence’ is used in The Prince and the Pauper.



(v.) regard or treat with deep respect (also a noun)

sometimes involves a physical gesture like a bow




  • Language of Origin: Middle English
  • reverencen = “reverence”

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: The people showed reverence to the leader as she passed through the crowd.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “As long as he lasted he was honoured; and he was also reverenced, for his striking and peculiar costume kept the people reminded that ‘in his time he had been royal” (p. 207)
  • Other forms: reverence (n), reverential (adj)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Three – Fun Fact

In Ch. 33 of The Prince and the Pauper, Miles Hendon experiences a feeling that many of us can probably relate to. The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 33 Fun Fact focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“Miles Hendon saved him the trouble; for he turned about, then, as a man generally will when somebody mesmerises him by gazing hard at him from behind..” (p. 200)

Why do we get this feeling?

  • Our eyes take in more than we realize
    • Our brains can be sensitive to what our conscious awareness isn’t
    • Study in 1974 proved blindsight – patients could still respond to visual stimuli though their visual cortex was destroyed
  • We think ourselves into feeling this way
    • Article from 1898
    • Described the feeling of someone watching you as a self-fulfilling prophecy
    • Feel like you’re being watched; begin fidgeting; people look at you because you are fidgeting, for example
  • Gaze perception
    • Our brains are specialized to draw us to the gaze of others or the direction of their gaze
    • Our brains also generate assumptions about someone’s gaze based on our experiences
    • A study found people tend to assume they are being watched if the visual clues weren’t decisive (for example if a person nearby was wearing dark glasses)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Three – Historical Tidbit

In Chapter 33 of The Prince and the Pauper, we hear about a special title that is given to Tom. Edward wants others to know about the service that Tom had done for their country. Our Chapter 33 Historical Tidbit focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more.

Here we see Edward’s explanation of the title he gives Tom:

“‘…And for that he hath been a king, it is meet that other than common observance shall be his due; wherefore note this his dress of state, for by it he shall be known, and none shall copy it; and wheresoever he shall come, it shall remind the people that he hath been royal, in his time, and none shall deny him his due of reverence or fail to give him salutation. He hath the throne’s protection, he hath the crown’s support, he shall be known and called by the honourable title
of the King’s Ward.’” (p. 204-205)

A History of Wardship

  • Wardship allowed the monarch (or lord in feudal law) to take control of a minor heir until they came of age if a tenant died
  • The rights of wardship were originally put in place to protect a minor heir/widow from relatives who wanted to get the property
  • A Court of Wards and Liveries established by Henry VIII – established to administer dues owed to king

Modern-Day Wards

  • In law
  • Ward = minor or incapacitated adult placed under the protection of a legal guardian or government entity
  • Children in foster care are wards of the states where they reside
  • For a time, native people in the U.S. were considered wards of the state (this ended in 1871)

Modern-Day Wards

  • Child Act of 1989
  • Wardship jurisdiction only used in rare circumstances
  • Takes effect immediately
  • Making a child a ward of court might be necessary if a child requires emergency medical treatment, if they are under threat of forced marriage, or if they are at risk of parental child abduction, for example

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Three – Vocabulary

Seize him! This is a phrase writers for movies and tv shows love to use when a criminal is about to escape or be arrested. Our vocab word for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 33 focuses on this statement. The vocab word is…


Keep reading or watch the video below see how the word ‘seize’ is used in The Prince and the Pauper.



(v.) to take possession of

Usually done by force


let go of


  • Language of Origin: Old High German
  • sezzen = “to set”

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: The wide receiver was able to seize the ball just before being tackled to the ground.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “Seize the rascal, men, and see ye keep him fast whilst I convey this precious paper within and send it to the King.” (p. 201)
  • Other forms: seizure (n)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Two – Fun Fact

In Ch. 32 of The Prince and the Pauper, we find ourselves at Edward’s coronation (though for most of the chapter it’s still Tom). As sunlight streams into Westminster on and hits the many royals and nobles, the sight is spectacular to see. The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 32 Fun Fact focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“We have seen that this massed array of peeresses is sown thick with diamonds, and we also see that it is a marvellous spectacle—but now we are about to be astonished in earnest. About nine, the clouds suddenly break away and a shaft of sunshine cleaves the mellow atmosphere, and drifts slowly along the ranks of ladies; and every rank it touches flames into a dazzling splendour of many-coloured fires, and we tingle to our finger-tips with the electric thrill that is shot through us by the surprise and the beauty of the spectacle!” (p. 187-188)

Why do diamonds shine?

  • Light goes through diamond and reflects off
  • Reflected light = brilliance
    • Better cuts lead to more brilliance because more light reflects back at the viewer
  • Refracted light = fire
    • Dispersed in spectrum; best cut diamonds have a balance of brilliance and fire
  • Dancing sparkles when a diamond moves = scintillation

What makes a diamond well cut?

  • The cut (angles, shape, facets)
    • “Brilliant cut” = 57 facets (long considered the most sparkling diamond)
    • “Royal 201” – 204 facets
  • Symmetry
  • Clarity (lack of imperfections in the rock)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Two – Historical Tidbit

In Chapter 32, we finally reach the moment everyone has been waiting for: “Edward” is finally going to be crowned king! Luckily the real Edward makes it just in the nick of time. Our Chapter 32 Historical Tidbit focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more.

Really all of Chapter 32 is about the Coronation, but a few excerpts from the chapter are described here:

“Let us go backward a few hours, and place ourselves in Westminster Abbey, at four o’clock in the morning of this memorable Coronation Day … At last the final act was at hand. The Archbishop of Canterbury lifted up the crown of England from its cushion and held it out over the trembling mock-King’s head.” (p. 186, 189)

The Day Before the Coronation

  • Saturday, February 19th, 1547
  • Edward VI processed out of the Tower of London dressed in white velvet
  • Included Edward’s servants/staff, nobility, council members, etc.
  • Cheapside was richly decorated with many displays

Coronation Day

  • Sunday, February 20, 1547
  • Chronicler Charles Wriothesley recorded the details
  • At 9:00am Edward traveled by barge to Whitehall, then to Westminster Abbey
  • A stage had been built and the throne sat on it, with two cushions
  • The traditional ceremony was condensed due to the king’s age (7 hours instead of 12)
  • There was a banquet to follow

The Steps of the Formal Process

  1. Recognition and Oath
  2. Anointing – consecrated oil is used to make a cross on the monarch’s hands, head, and heart
  3. Investing – spurs/crown jewel (orb, sceptre, etc.) are given to the monarch
  4. Crowning
  5. Enthronement and Homage – monarch sits on throne and people present pay homage to him/her
  6. Closing Procession

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What’s New for Pontes Books in 2022?

Another year has gone by with Pontes Books! Here’s a look back at what we accomplished in 2021:

  • Releasing our second novel (in select countries): Animal Farm in five unique versions (red, orange, yellow, white, and pink)
  • Releasing two audiobooks for The Prince and the Pauper: the Yellow Version and the White Version
  • Releasing a number of short story Parallel Texts versions (like “The Lady or the Tiger”)

What can you look forward to in 2022?

We have big plans for 2022! Here’s what we have in the works:

More audio versions for The Prince and the Pauper. This year we release the yellow and white versions of The Prince and the Pauper, and next year we plan on releasing the blue version as well.

More Short Stories. In addition to the short stories that have already been released, more short stories will be available throughout this year. Some examples: “The Open Window” by Saki, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain, “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry, and more!

A new novel release. And finally last but not least, we will be releasing at least one new novel this year! We don’t want to reveal too much information at this point, but you can be assured that more books are in the works! In the meantime, keep enjoying the Prince and the Pauper content.

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If you have any questions, contact us at admin@pontesbooks.com.

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirty-Two – Vocabulary

Our vocab word for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 32 has many meanings: using a fishing line, the people who act in a movie or play, something you put on your arm when it’s broken. The vocab word is…


Keep reading or watch the video below see how the word ‘cast’ is used in The Prince and the Pauper.



(v.) to get rid of; to throw away

often refers to something unwanted

throw out



  • Language of Origin: Old Norse
  • kasta = “to cast or throw”

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: The security officer caught the pickpockets and cast them into the alley.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “Cast the beggar into the street, and scourge him through the town—the paltry knave is worth no more consideration” (p. 193)
  • Other forms: casts, casting, etc.

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