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Old 12-22-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
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Twain, Mark: A Tramp Abroad (Illustrated). v1. 23 December 2013

A TRAMP ABROAD

by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)

First published 1880
The text of this book is in the public domain world-wide, because the author died more than 100 years ago. The illustrations and introductory material are in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less.

This ebook is based on the first edition and includes all 328 original illustrations. It also includes the introductory material and illustrations from the 1899 "Uniform Edition", plus four pieces which were purportedly left out of "Tramp" and later published in "The Stolen White Elephant, etc." in 1882.


Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and its sequel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the latter often called “The Great American Novel.”

This is Twain’s third travel book, often considered to be an unofficial sequel to his first big book, “The Innocents Abroad.” The first edition cover image, depicting a ragged Twain in patched pants and dilapidated shoes, striding along with alpenstock and tattered umbrella, invites the reader to interpret the title as “A Hobo Abroad,” as well as “A Walk Abroad.”

With Twain and “Mr. Harris” (a fictionalized doppelganger of Clemens’ close friend, Joseph Twichell), we journey through central and southern Europe. This is intended to be a walking tour; but in truth, they are passengers more often than not, and on every imaginable conveyance, from donkey-back to river raft. They spend a good deal of time in mountainous areas, so there is much discussion of mountains and mountain-climbers. Be sure to read chapters 37 – 39 for Twain’s tall tale of his massive expedition to climb the Riffelberg, and later, his daring ascent of Mont Blanc – by telescope.

Interspersed with the (often fictionalized) narrative, are a number of stories not related to the trip, such as “Baker’s Bluejay Yarn,” “The Man Who Put Up at Gadsby’s,” and others; as well as many German Legends, partly invented by the author himself. That frequently reprinted favorite, “The Awful German Language,” made its debut here as one of the appendices.

All travel literature should be as enjoyable as this – a bubbling mixture of fact, fiction, laugh-out-loud humor, and heartfelt poetic descriptions of beautiful scenery.

------
An excerpt, most educational...

Spoiler:
NEXT MORNING WE LEFT in the train for Switzerland, and reached Lucerne about ten o’clock at night. The first discovery I made was that the beauty of the lake had not been exaggerated. Within a day or two I made another discovery. This was, that the lauded chamois is not a wild goat; that it is not a horned animal; that it is not shy; that it does not avoid human society; and that there is no peril in hunting it.

The chamois is a black or brown creature no bigger than a mustard seed; you do not have to go after it, it comes after you; it arrives in vast herds and skips and scampers all over your body, inside your clothes; thus it is not shy, but extremely sociable; it is not afraid of man, on the contrary, it will attack him; its bite is not dangerous, but neither is it pleasant; its activity has not been overstated – if you try to put your finger on it, it will skip a thousand times its own length at one jump, and no eye is sharp enough to see where it lights. A great deal of romantic nonsense has been written about the Swiss chamois and the perils of hunting it, whereas the truth is that even women and children hunt it, and fearlessly; indeed, everybody hunts it; the hunting is going on all the time, day and night, in bed and out of it. It is poetic foolishness to hunt it with a gun; very few people do that; there is not one man in a million who can hit it with a gun. It is much easier to catch it than it is to shoot it, and only the experienced chamois-hunter can do either. Another common piece of exaggeration is that about the “scarcity” of the chamois. It is the reverse of scarce. Droves of one hundred million chamois are not unusual in the Swiss hotels. Indeed, they are so numerous as to be a great pest. The romancers always dress up the chamois-hunter in a fanciful and picturesque costume, whereas the best way to hunt this game is to do it without any costume at all.

The article of commerce called chamois-skin is another fraud; nobody could skin a chamois, it is too small. The creature is a humbug in every way, and everything which has been written about it is sentimental exaggeration. It was no pleasure to me to find the chamois out, for he had been one of my pet illusions; all my life it had been my dream to see him in his native wilds some day, and engage in the adventurous sport of chasing him from cliff to cliff. It is no pleasure to me to expose him, now, and destroy the reader’s delight in him and respect for him, but still it must be done, for when an honest writer discovers an imposition, it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence.


------
Editorial notes:

Corrected text errors, formatted punctuation, German diacritics, italics. Added scene breaks, cross-linked end-notes, cross-linked chapter titles to html TOC. Embedded fonts for titling and initial caps.

"Drop Caps" version has illustrations in a higher resolution, hence much bigger file-size. "Up Caps" version has smaller images in jpeg format. Images in both versions are centered, no text-wrap.

This is one of the rare Twain titles that has never been previously added to the MobileRead library. I hope you enjoy it!
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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Old 12-22-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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...I hope you enjoy it!
I certainly will. Thanks very much for the work that has gone into this book; it will replace with pride my rather tatty unillustrated version.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:09 AM   #3
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@AnotherCat --- yay! another Twain fan! Thank you for downloading. And thank you for the the compliment.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:04 PM   #4
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Thank you! Your books are the best quality around. The illustrations are excellent. I love the dropcaps versions.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:13 AM   #5
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@PHC -- thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad you are enjoying the books.
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