The Innocents Abroad

The Innocents Abroad

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About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain, as he was better known was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. His father ran a dry goods and grocery store, practiced law and involved himself in local politics after the family's move to Hannibal, Missouri, when Sam was four years old.

Hannibal seems to have been a good place for a boy to grow up. Sam was entranced by the Mississippi River and enjoyed both the barges and the people who traveled on them. When Sam was just eleven his father died and Sam went to work for his brother at the Hannibal Journal first as a printer's apprentice and later a compositor. While still in his teens Sam went on the road as an itinerant printer. In 1857 he conceived a plan to seek his fortune in South America but on the way he met a steamboat captain, Horace Bixby who took him on as a cub riverboat pilot and taught him until he acquired his own license.

This enjoyable style of life, which Twain always spoke of later with special warmth was ended by the Civil War. Twain went west with his brother Orion to prospect in Nevada but in 1862 joined the staff of the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, a paper to which he had already begun submitting his work. Later Twain went to California and submitted "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" to the New York Saturday Press.

By 1871 Twain had published Innocents Abroad and had married Olivia Langdon, the sister of a friend from a socially prominent New York City family. He and his wife moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where they made their family home for thenext 20 years.

Books that he wrote in Hartford confirmed his popular reputation but despite their success Twain found himself in financial difficulty primarily because of his investments in the Paige typesetting business as well as his own publishing company. Eventually Twain was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Twain's last major books were successful commercially but they also reflect his increasing pessimism. His satire becomes at times more biting and mean-spirited than it is humorous. Despite the downturn in Twain's outlook in later life and despite the unevenness of much of his work, he remains one of the major writers of the American nineteenth century, and one who has been enormously influential on subsequent writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451530493
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2007
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 73,586
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark Twain is the author of many great American classics including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Pudd'nhead Wilson. In 1867, Twain set sail for a five month tour of Europe and the Middle East, and the letters which he wrote while on this trip form the basis for "The Innocents Abroad".

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "The Innocents Abroad"
by .
Copyright © 2007 Mark Twain.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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“There was never anybody like him; there never will be.”—William Dean Howells

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Innocents Abroad 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books where you need to keep in mind a few essential facts if you are to get any enjoyment out of it. Firstly, it was never originally written as a book but as a series of letters to the Alta California. Secondly, it presents itself as being quite patriotic primarily in response to the Eurocentricism prevalent at the time (i.e. this is a riposte to all those Europhiles who think that the New World has no culture.) Overall, ignoring the fractured style and sometimes contradictory stances, it's a rollicking good read with a lot of laughs and tongue-in-cheek prodding at those cultural steriotypes with which we should all be familiar. This was the travelogue which made Twain famous and is therefore important since, up until 'Huckleberry Finn', nothing else of his sold as well. The episodes with the guides, called - without exception - 'Ferguson', are particularly hilarious and yet they make one wonder just how much Twain actually engaged with the cultures about which he wrote. The contemporary reader might be surprised by how unrepentantly prejudiced Twain is but I think this style makes the text refreshingly sincere. Political correctness takes a real back seat in this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the more entertaining books I've read lately. Twain's humor and sarcasm had me smiling and occasionally laughing out loud! The way he describes the cities and countries that he visits make you feel like you're right there with him. I also enjoyed the patriotism he weaves in throughout the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure about the book but the sample is only reviews and explanations about Mark Twain. Not HIS words at all.
ECBesa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written a generation ago but a showpiece of how to write a travel piece.
MikeD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable read! A travel guide to Europe and other locations I wish I had read before visiting some of the places Twain visited in 1867 (?). His descriptions of the towns, cathedrals, and neighborhoods of the cities in France and Italy are true even today and in more detail than the travel books we used. His comments are more clever, witty, and funny that the guides we used.
arelenriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of Mark Twains best and funniest. It got a bit dry in spots though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Small kitten padds in stumbling slightly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The kit walked in bleeding around his chest eye anf ear.
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lovestotravel More than 1 year ago
Published in 1869, this "diary" of a cruise from the USA to the Mediterranean and Holy Land, was quite popular in it's day. To read it in 2013, it was quite an adventure for sure. How fortunate that Mark Twain and many of his shipmates were men - they had the opportunities to make such an adventure and do and see what they wanted. This was not always possible for the women of the day. You have to remember what travel was like and how much was unknown while reading this. Not everyone would find this an interesting book, but worth a try if you are interested in old-time travel.
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Sweeney More than 1 year ago
not Twain's best work.