Mark Twain’s Travelogue “The Innocents Abroad” is a Must Read

Illustration of Mount Tabor by Catherine Tobin. Image via Wikipedia

Nowadays, we all love to read travelogues about people’s current trips around the globe. However, there is still a lot to learn from the past. Prolific writer, Mark Twain was not always known for his funny novels like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In 1867, Twain set off on a grand tour of the world aboard the chartered ship, Quaker City. If you have ever wondered what travel books from the 19th century were like, then this is the one you should read.

Europe and the Holy Land

The book begins with Twain heading to Europe with a group of Americans who are set on exploring the world, and it ends in the Holy Land or what is now known as Israel. Along the way, he meets a variety of different characters who feature heavily in the book, and are described with great humor by Twain. What is perhaps most interesting, is the main theme in the novel—the clash between past and present.

This theme is very much relevant today, as the effects of colonialism and the politics in many countries are still very much entwined. If you want to read something that will transport you back in time, and make you laugh out loud, then this is the travelogue for you. You will quickly see why it is one of the best-selling travel books ever written.