The Innocents Abroad
Penguin, 2002 M07 30 - 560 pages
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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