A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad

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Author: Twain, Mark [PSUED Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)

Year: 1880

Publisher: American Publishing Co and Chatto & Windus

Place: Hartford and London


xvi+[17]-631+[1 ad] pages with 328 wood illustrations with double frontispiece. Royal Octavo (9" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial lettering to cover. Titans Moses on the frontispiece of baby Moses, bulks at 1 5/8", blindstamped border on cover is about square at inner corners. (BAL 3386) First edition, mixed state.

America's post-Civil War years brought a renewed interest in the European scene. Journeys known as Grand Tours led tourists to take ship to the Continent. They fanned out across the landscape with the intent to "know Europe." Their return home resulted in a flurry of published accounts. Twain satirizes both the tourists and their writings with delicious wit. Ever a man to play with words, his "tramp" refers to both himself and the walking tour of Europe he purports to have made. By the time you've reached the end of the account of the "walking tour" incorporating trains, carriages and barges, you realize that the longest "walk" Twain took occurred in dark hotel room while trying to find his bed. He claims to have covered 47 miles wandering around the room. Twain was interested in everything, probing into both well-known and obscure topics. His judgments are vividly conveyed in this book, standing in marked contrast to his more reserved approach in Innocents Abroad. A delightful overview of mid-19th Century Europe, Tramp is also interlaced with entertaining asides. Twain was deeply interested in people, and various "types" are drawn from his piercing gaze, rendered with acerbic wit. Some of these are contemporary, while others are dredged from his memories of the California mines and other journeys. He also relished Nature's marvels, recounting his observations. A favorite essay is "What Stumped the Blue-jays." A nearly universal bird in North America, Twain's description of the jay's curiosity and expressive ability stands unmatched. He observes such humble creatures as ants, Alpine chamois, and the American tourist. Few escape his perception or his scathing wit. This book remains valuable for its timeless rendering of characters and the universality of its view. It can be read repeatedly for education or entertainment.


Spine ends chipped and rubbed, hinges rubbed, corners bumped and rubbed through, spine faded, previous owner's label on front paste down, else a better than good copy.

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