Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism
The Tide of a Great Popular Movement
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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I could not have completed this project without the help and guidance of numerous people. This book began as a Ph.D. dissertation at the University of South Carolina under the d irection of Ezra Greenspan, who
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In Following the Equator, his last travel book, Mark Twain shares an anecdote about an “elderly lady and her son” who, because of a series of mishaps, have traveled well beyond their original itinerary, getting further from home all the while. “Think of it,” he writes, “a projected excursion of five hundred miles gradually enlarged, without...
1. The Success of Travel Books and the Failure of Tourism
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For readers in the late nineteenth century, Mark Twain was first and foremost a travel writer instead of a novelist.1 He earned the greatest patronage from his contemporaries as the endearing narrator of The Innocents Abroad, his most popular book and the best-selling travel book of the century, rather than as the author of...
2. Tourism and Travel Writing in the Nineteenth Century
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No other genre of American literature enjoyed a greater popularity or a more enduring prominence in the nineteenth century than travel writing. Essentially, it had been intertwined with the development of America’s literary identity from its beginnings, as the first European explorers recorded their experiences for readers back home. By the...
3. Touring the Old World: Faith and Leisure in The Innocents Abroad and A Tramp Abroad
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Touring eastward in em>The Innocents Abroad and A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain repeatedly snubs the grandiose pretensions of the cultures he encounters.1 He shows readers that the Old World, especially Europe, if viewed honestly through definitively American eyes, falls far short of common, overblown expectations. Although such a reading of...
4. Touring the New World: The Search for Home in Roughing It and Life on the Mississippi
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Like his travel books to the Old World, Twain’s two books westward into the New World explore touristic experience. Added to that context, however, is a pressing search for home. Roughing It and Life on the Mississippi stand out for their peculiarly autobiographical focus. Of course, all travel books are autobiographical by definition, but these...
5. Touring the Round: Imperialism and the Failure of Travel Writing in Following the Equator
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Mark Twain ended his travel-writing career much as he began it, producing a successful narrative based on a highly publicized tour with a specific itinerary, a farewell tour for America’s most popular tourist. Following the Equator comes the closest of his travel books in its form and structural execution to matching...
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Publication Year: 2002