When I was a Junior in High School (2007-2008) my English teacher used an English textbook that had a story about someone who thought they were living in the wrong time period. I cannot remember exactly but I believe s/he thought they belonged in the 1700s, about 200 years before their time (This could be completely incorrect but I remember 200 years for some reason). The class was called 'American Literature'.

I don't know if this is helpful, but the textbook seemed older, possibly from the late 90s but I cannot say for sure.


After thinking about this a bit more, I am leaning towards thinking the character is male. I also believe knights are mentioned as one of the things he 'missed out on'.

  • 1
    Is that absolutely all you remember about the story? You don't remember if the "person" was male or female, young or old, if the story was set in America or Africa or China, if the setting was the plains or the mountains or jungle or seashore? You don't remember anything that happens in the story?
    – user14111
    Jan 15, 2019 at 2:24
  • Can you find out more about the textbook? You might even contact the teacher to find out which textbook it was.
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 16, 2019 at 11:47
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    I think I may have found the textbook, as it looks very familiar, but I cannot seem to find a list of stories within it. Here it is on Amazon: (amazon.com/Holt-Adventures-Literature-Student-Athena/dp/…) Jan 16, 2019 at 13:46
  • Running out of Time is not the right answer but it is a great book. After thinking about this a bit more, I am leaning towards thinking the character is male. I also believe knights are mentioned as one of the things he 'missed out on'. Jan 16, 2019 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


The answer is 'Miniver Cheevy' by Edwin Arlington Robinson and it's actually a poem!

Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
    Would set him dancing.

I was able to get in contact with my old teacher, thankfully.


This Sounds like Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Jessie Keyser is a 13-year-old girl from the village of Clifton, Indiana, in the 1840s. During a village-wide outbreak of diphtheria, Jessie's mother reveals it is really 1996, and Clifton Village is a tourist attraction, a replica of a historical village with the tourists hidden, watching the village's activity under the ground. Originally it was much more lenient with its villagers when a man named Miles Clifton founded it, but is now very strict and prevents anyone from leaving. Her mother asks her to retrieve a cure for now that her own sister Katie has taken ill; the owners of the attraction ceased to provide modern medical care to the villagers in order to preserve its authenticity. She tells Jessie to get the cure from a man named Isaac Neeley, who protested the opening of Clifton. Jessie's escape will be difficult because Clifton is guarded to ensure that none of the villagers leave or finds out it is 1996. Jessie's mother shows her a hidden escape route that has not been sealed.
- Running Out of Time (Haddix novel) - Wikipedia

Now I think what you read might have been an excerpt from this novel because the dates you gave are (roughly) similar to the dates here, and other than that this seems to match your description pretty well.

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