The Travel Books of Mark Twain

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Celebrated American author and humorist Mark Twain started his tremendous career by penning semi-autobiographical books based upon his extensive travels as a young man. The first book published by Twain was The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress in 1869. It's basically a humorous account of his travels through Europe and the Holy Land in 1867 that he took with a group of American tourists. Innocents Abroad was Twain's best selling book during his lifetime and is still one of the best selling travel books in history. It's great fun to revel in Twain's use of language describing foreign customs and peoples from almost 150 years ago. If you plan on travelling through Europe or the Middle East soon, why not let Twain be your guide? (At least you'll get a laugh!)

Roughing It, though written in 1870-71 and published in 1872, is basically an autobiographical prequel to The Innocents Abroad. The book chronicles Twain's travels through the American West from 1861-67, including his brief excursion in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Twain's first hand humorous accounts of the old west are important historical documents that read like old campfire tales.

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Folks seem to remember Twain for his stories about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn meandering their way down the Mississippi on rafts encountering all kinds of troubles along the way. Life on the Mississippi, published in 1883, is a memoir/travel book of Twain's various adventures down the Mississippi River as a "cub" (a type of apprentice) of an experienced steamboat pilot and later, as a traveler from St Louis to New Orleans. Witness pre-Civil War America through the eyes of one its most celebrated writers as he travels down the mighty Mississippi.

Following the Equator chronicles Twain's around the world lecture tour taken in 1895 to pay off his mounting debts from an ill advised investment in a typesetting machine that literally bankrupted the author. Though older and wiser, Twain is still funnier than heck as he travels through India and Australia. Only Twain can complain about a carbuncle and make it seem lighthearted. Not as consistently good as Innocents Abroad or Roughing It, this is still required reading for travel book aficionados and fans of Twain's fiction.

Submitted by Dan @ Central


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This page contains a single entry by Dan K. published on December 27, 2011 9:13 AM.

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