The Innocents Abroad: Or the New Pilgrim's Progress

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Innocents Abroad

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781840226362
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Classics
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain
Riverboat pilot, journalist, failed businessman (several times over): Samuel Clemens -- the man behind the figure of “Mark Twain” -- led many lives. But it was in his novels and short stories that he created a voice and an outlook on life that will be forever identified with the American character.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003

    Excellent account of the Mediterranean & Holy Land in 1867.

    This is a fascinating, extraordinary account, written by Mark Twain in relation to his travels throughout the Mediterranean, the Holy Land & other points of interest around 1867. Many readers will be familiar with Mark Twain from their school-days , perhaps having read the author's stories of `Tom Sawyer' & `Huckleberry Finn'. Although factual, this book is itself just as enjoyable a read as the author's other classics. I obtained my rather ancient copy of this book primarily to investigate the author's account of his travels through the Holy Land during the 19th Century, and his observations of the Holy Land, it's terrain, population, culture and character at that time. Noting that the author had also spent some time in Gibraltar at any early stage in his journey, I thought that I might also be able to gather some perception of the accuracy of his accounts, having personally lived in Gibraltar for a period of time & being familiar with Gibraltar's history. I was not to be disappointed and was quite impressed with the writer's description of Gibraltar and his interpretation of it's turbulent history. I was also impressed with the writer's account of so many locations within the Holy Land and the considerable amount of time that he devoted to it in his book. So many of the Judaeo-Christian sites that I am very familiar with are admirably described by the author and are instantly recognisable even after so many years. However, unlike today, where many of these areas are quite heavily populated and where the land has flourished in recent times, the author's account paints an utterly different picture during the 19th Century. A picture which flies heavily in the face of the `new historians' and the `revisionists', many of whom allege that the Land even then was quite heavily populated by `Palestinian Arabs' and was as verdant as the present day. Instead Mark Twain describes the Holy Land as being barely populated and just a collection of small villages in a dry, barren land, an outpost of the Ottoman Empire. He writes;- '...Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince...It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land...Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered it's fields and fettered it's energies...Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan whee the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed lies a mouldering ruin, today, even as Joshua's miracle left it more than three thousand years ago...Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all it's ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village...Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth...Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise ? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land ?...' Although Jews having lived in the Holy Land since Biblical times, such a prophetic description being included within the Scriptures as indeed preceding the mass return of the Jewish people to their Land in the latter days which we now see. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Please note that some copies under the title 'Innocents Abroad' do not include the coverage of the Holy Land trip. Please ensure that you obtain the correct copy. Thank you.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    Best Travel Guide

    My favorite Mark Twain . .. Hilariously laugh out loud funny!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    Fair

    not Twain's best work.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    BurningStar

    Waits

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    This is an OCR'd book, with a scattering of typos and garbled se

    This is an OCR'd book, with a scattering of typos and garbled sentences. Those are bearable, and it's almost amusing to figure out what's actually intended. BUT the book is INCOMPLETE - it just ends roughly half way through. Unacceptable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2011

    If you enjoy traveling you'll LOVE this book!

    So much fun! A great read by an obviously entertaining & well-traveled author. Even if you think you've read it in the past I recommend you pick it up again!

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