“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’; but that ain’t no matter.”
~Mark Twain, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain changed the game when he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was one of the first major literary works to be written in the language of the people. It has been praised by the likes of T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway, but even in its day people as famous as Louisa May Alcott dismissed it for its language.
Long before Twain, William Tyndale did the same and more with his translation of the Bible into English. Before him scripture could only be read in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and the common man was forced to take the clergymen’s word for what it said. Tyndale had a heart for the people and said (defying the pope) “If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.” Tyndale was martyred for his act, but a few years later his translation was the basis of what became the King James Version of the Bible.
Have you read it lately?
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.