Celebrating Mark Twain, Travel Writer

Destinations: Various

Book: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens by Jerome Loving (April 2010)

The first half of Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens
follows the rootless Mark Twain as he becomes a travel writer. Although we think of Twain as a humorist, he clearly wrote the outstanding travel literature of the day.  And in the mid nineteenth century, it seemed that everyone was writing travel literature.

This video gives you a peek into the thinking of Jerome Loving, whose new book is being praised as the ultimate critical biography of Twain and his work.

“More books have been published about Mark Twain than any other American writer and, with this centennial year (also the 175th anniversary of his birth and the 125th anniversary of “Huck Finn,”), the world’s fascination with Twain will be remembered and reignited,” says Harper Barnes in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jerome Loving’s book, which focuses on the minutiae of Twain’s wanderings–both physical and philosophical, provides all the information you could ever want about Mark Twain. Reading Loving is like listening to a friend with a subject he is passionate about. He grabs your collar and talks your ear off. Loving’s passion comes through, even though I sometimes got a bit lost in sidetracks into Walt Whitman (Loving also wrote Walt Whitman, the Song of Himself) and other digressions.

Still, I appreciate this view of Twain as a developing travel writer, and the short chapters which allow you to focus on the segments of Twain’s life as he zig-zagged through many “apprenticeships” as he called his false starts. This book belongs in the Traveler’s Library as a reference for all those places that Twain, the inveterate traveler, first brought to the American reader–Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, the Holy Lands, Hawaii, Europe. It sometimes seems that wherever you go, it seems that Twain was there before you.

If you want to read more about Twain from A Traveler’s Library, don’t miss the guest post by Mark Heers about his favorite book, A Tramp Abroad. I thought about Roughing It when I was visiting Lake Tahoe.

Disclaimers: The video is shown courtesy of YouTube. The publishers, University of Berkeley Press sent me a review copy of this book.  I include a link to Amazon for your convenience, and because by purchasing anything at Amazon when you link there from this site, you are supporting A Traveler’s Library. Thank You.

I would like to hear your opinion. Do you like having videos embedded in posts, or do they slow down loading for you? And of course, I’d love to have a rip roaring conversation about Mark Twain and what he means to you. Leave a comment and join the fun. (When you become a subscriber you discover new travel books every week. We’re close to one hundred regulars now, and would like to break through those 00’s.)

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

3 thoughts on “Celebrating Mark Twain, Travel Writer

  1. I need a long vacation to read these books!! Now you even teased me with the fact Jerome Loving wrote about Walt Whitman- one of my favorite people to want to know more about. Oh my- sigh- so little time and so many books.

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