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Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda (Mark Twain and His Circle Series.) [Hardcover]

Donald Hoffmann

RRP: £32.50
Price: £32.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 May 2006 0826216420 978-0826216427
For Mark Twain, it was love at first landfall. Samuel Clemens first encountered the Bermuda Islands in 1867 on a return voyage from the Holy Land and found them much to his liking. One of the most isolated spots in the world, Bermuda offered the writer a refuge from his harried and sometimes sad existence on the mainland and called him back another seven times. Clemens found that Bermuda's beauty, pace, weather, and company were just the medicine he needed, and its seafaring culture, with few connections to the outside world, appealed to his love of travel by water. This book is the first comprehensive study of Clemens's love affair with Bermuda, a vivid depiction of a celebrated author on recurring vacations. Donald Hoffmann has culled and clarified passages from Mark Twain's travel pieces, letters, and unpublished autobiographical dictation - with cross-references to his fiction and infrequently cited short pieces - to create a little-known view of the author at leisure on his fantasy island. "Mark Twain in Paradise" sheds light on both Clemens's complex character and the topography and history of the islands. Hoffmann has plumbed the voluminous Mark Twain scholarship and Bermudian archives to faithfully re-create turn-of-the-century Bermuda, supplying historical and biographical background to give his narrative texture and depth. He offers insight into Bermuda's natural environment, traditional stone houses, and romantic past, and he presents dozens of illustrations, both vintage and new, showing that much of what Mark Twain described can still be seen today. Hoffmann also provides insight into the social circles Clemens moved in - and sometimes collected around himself. When visiting the islands, he rubbed shoulders with the likes of socialist Upton Sinclair and multimillionaire Henry H. Rogers; with Woodrow Wilson and his lover, socialite Mary Peck; as well as with the young girls to whom he enjoyed playing grandfather. "You go to heaven if you want to," Mark Twain wrote from Bermuda in 1910 during his long last visit. "I'd druther stay here." And because much of what Clemens enjoyed in the islands is still available to experience today, visitors to Bermuda can now have America's favorite author as their guide. "Mark Twain in Paradise" is an unexpected addition to the vast literature by and about Mark Twain and a work of travel literature unlike any other.

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"A superior travel book.... Bermuda (or at least Mark Twain's Bermuda) became distinct and detailed to me for the first time.... Twainians will want to read it and will talk up its virtues." - Louis Budd, author of Mark Twain: Social Philosopher"

About the Author

DONALD HOFFMANN is the author of numerous books, most recently Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and the Skyscraper and Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain: the Bermuda Connection 6 May 2008
By Dr. Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent resource for anyone wanting to know about Mark Twain's overseas travels, especially in Bermuda. The author has given us great insight into that country, and for anyone doing research on Woodrow Wilson, it also establishes his presence there, along with his affair with Mary Peck. The pictures are excellent. Well worth the read.
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