The Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrims Progress
Author: Twain, Mark [PSUED Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
xxiv+613++[32 ad] pages with black and white frontispiece and 234 illustrations. Small Octavo (7 1/2" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's red cloth with black and gilt embossed imprint to cover and spine. First edition published in 1881, this is a latter edition with the ads dated 1886.
The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims Progress is a travel book by American author Mark Twain published in 1869 which humorously chronicles what Twain called his Great Pleasure Excursion on board the chartered vessel Quaker City (formerly USS Quaker City) through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of American travelers in 1867. It was the best-selling of Twain s works during his lifetime, as well as being one of the best-selling travel books of all time. Innocents Abroad presents itself as an ordinary travel book. It is based on an actual event, in a retired Civil War ship (the USS Quaker City). The excursion upon which the book is based was billed as a Holy Land expedition, with numerous stops and side trips along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, notably: Train excursion from Marseilles, France to Paris for the 1867 Paris Exhibition during the reign of Napoleon III and the Second French Empire. Journey through the Papal States to Rome. Side trip through the Black Sea to Odessa. All before the ultimate pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Twain recorded his observations and critiques of the various aspects of culture and society he encountered on the journey, some more serious than others, which gradually turned from witty and comedic to biting and bitter as he drew closer to the Holy Land. Once in the Holy Land proper, his tone shifted again, this time to a combination of light-hearted comedy and a reverence not unlike what he had previously mocked in his traveling companions. Many of Twain s criticisms were based on the contrast between his own experiences and the often grandiose accounts in contemporary travelogues, which were regarded in their own time as indispensable aids for traveling in the region. Above all others, Twain lampooned William Cowper Prime s Tent Life in the Holy Land for its overly sentimental prose and its often violent encounters with native inhabitants. Twain also made light of his fellow travelers and the natives of the countries and regions he visited, as well as his own expectations and reactions.
Foxing to front end papers and title page, corners bumped and rubbed, small pea size stain on front board, spine soiled and sunned, cover gilt brite but lightly soiled, else about a very good copy.