The Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain's 1869 book The Innocents Abroad; or, The New Pilgrims' Progress is a humorous travelogue of a voyage Twain undertook two years earlier. He'd sent letters to the newspapers about his steamship voyage through Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land, commenting the whole way in his honest, funny, and sardonic style. Only a few years after the Civil War, this six-month voyage on the steamer "Quaker City" was arranged by famous pastor Henry Ward Beecher and General Sherman (neither of whom made the trip). Mark Twain was among this flock of American tourists as they visited the great sites such as the Louvre in Paris, Florence, and Rome; and a meeting with Czar Alexander II in the Crimea. But Twain being Twain, he ripped into his fellow passengers for their narrow-minded perspectives, Americans who think they're worldly because they've read a few guide books.
The title however suggests that the passengers are just that: Innocents. Without the benefits of radio, television, or internet, Americans at this point had only learned of the world through books, primarily European, and only those rich enough to travel had much fresh insight on other cultures. The Innocents Abroad is a part of a collection of Twain's travelogues, including "Roughing It," "Following the Equator," and "Life on the Mississippi.
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September 13, 2012
Twain is always entertaining
November 30, 2011
Such a subtle sense of humor. Always uses the word he means, not it's second cousin.
October 13, 2011
I love twains descriptions, his humor and his sarcasm. So much of what he said in his times fits right in today.