The Innocents Abroad (Paperback)
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Based on a series of letters Mark Twain wrote from Europe to newspapers in San Francisco and New York as a roving correspondent, The Innocents Abroad (1869) is a burlesque of the sentimental travel books popular in the mid-nineteenth century. Twain's fresh and humorous perspective on hallowed European landmarks lacked reverence for the past-the ancient statues of saints on the Cathedral of Notre Dame are "battered and broken-nosed old fellows" and tour guides "interrupt every dream, every pleasant train of thought, with their tiresome cackling." Equally irreverent about American manners (including his own) as he is about European attitudes, Twain ultimately concludes that, for better or worse, "human nature is very much the same all over the world."
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About the Author
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American humorist and writer, who is best known for his enduring novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has been called the Great American Novel. Raised in Hannibal, Missouri, Twain held a variety of jobs including typesetter, riverboat pilot, and miner before achieving nationwide attention for his work as a journalist with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. He earned critical and popular praise for his wit and enjoyed a successful career as a public speaker in addition to his writing. Twain s works were remarkable for his ability to capture colloquial speech, although his adherence to the vernacular of the time has resulted in the suppression of his works by schools in modern times. Twain s birth in 1835 coincided with a visit by Halley s Comet, and Twain predicted, accurately, that he would go out with it as well, dying the day following the comet s return in 1910.
Tom Quirk is a professor of English at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Mark Twain (18351910) was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Missouri. He became celebrated for his uncompromising stands against injustice and imperialism and for his invariably quoted comments on any subject under the sun.
John Seelye is a graduate research professor of American literature at the University of Florida. He serves as consulting editor of Penguin Classics.
Guy Cardwell has written several books on Mark Twain and is emeritus professor of English at Washington University