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On Europe Paperback – 29 Mar 2013

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd (29 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843916215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843916215
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,653,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

Product Description

'In a little while we were speeding through the streets of Paris and delightfully recognizing certain names and places with which books had long ago made us familiar. It was like meeting an old friend when we read Rue de Rivoli on the street corner; we knew the genuine vast palace of the Louvre as well as we knew its picture; when we passed by the Column of July we needed no one to tell us what it was or to remind us that on its site once stood the grim Bastille, that grave of human hopes and happiness...' This is a brand new selection of Mark Twain's views on Europe and the Europeans, taken from several volumes of travelogues recounting his journeys across the continent with wit, vivacity and humour. Few fellow travellers, locals or ideologies are left unscathed. Uproariously funny at times and often cutting with his remarks, Twain always seems to pull it back from the brink and err on the side humour rather than offence. Throughout France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, the food, the language, the customs and the people, no subject escapes analysis of the most amusing kind. In addition, On Europe provides a captivating snapshot into life late nineteenth-century Europe - Twain's writing documents the political zeitgeist of a changing era. The author also takes the opportunity to lambast fellow travel writers, lampooning their overwrought style and grandiose emotional outpourings. Following the age-old tradition of new-world travellers returning to the old world, Twain's account features the usual blend of awe and disillusionment which met Americans in equal measure when confronted with lands so steeped in history and legend and yet now in the grip of modernity.

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Top Customer Reviews

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A wonderful, eccentric work by a man who loves both travel and the full use of the English language. Hugely enjoyable.
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