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and life along the winding road

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

I was intrigued by some of the quotes I have read by Mark Twain of his travels abroad and found that many of them came from Innocents Abroad which is free for Kindle on the Amazon web site. Unfortunately it didn't include any of the pictures listed in the book, but you can view them here. The 1867 "cruise" was offered for $1,250, visiting Europe, North Africa and the Holy Land with over-land and pleasure excursions in between. It seems the boat had very few amenities, but did carry a printing press for newsletters. If you are looking for a politically correct travel-log this is not it. Mark Twain describes both the sights and people beautifully but often with remarks that would be stricken from present day conversation.  The title is a giveaway as to the content. The book follows the sometimes blundering tours of American tourists who know little of the lands they were visiting unless they had seen a picture here and there (the days before television and the internet). But through their eyes you get a glimpse into how each port looked to someone with no pre-conceived notions. Mark Twain is a very observant traveler and rather than a dry account, he intersperses his experience and those of his fellow travelers with humor and awe.

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