I can hardly imagine anything better than traveling the globe with Mark Twain. His wit and keen powers of observation were abundantly apparent. Sadly, so was his prejudice; although, one must remember that this was written in an entirely different time, and that, thankfully most people have become more evolved and educated since then.
One also has to remember that, as Twain reminds us himself in the book, he was brought up during slavery, to accept slavery and denigration of those of different e I can hardly imagine anything better than traveling the globe with Mark Twain. One also has to remember that, as Twain reminds us himself in the book, he was brought up during slavery, to accept slavery and denigration of those of different ethnicity as normal.
One story, that involved him naming an Indian servant Satan had me exasperated at his presumption at making such a joke at someone else's expense and at the same time had me rolling on the floor laughing when Satan brought Twain God's calling card. That's just the crux of the story, it was a few pages in length, and the funniest passage I think I've ever read. However, the lack of respect for his servant as a human being and for the religion of others in the story, did, as I say, quite leave me feeling exasperated.
This was a fabulous read, though. One of my favorites of the year so far. Oct 27, Marti rated it liked it Shelves: travel-and-food. I guess there is a reason this compilation is not as well known as Innocents Abroad or A Tramp Abroad. Although it is not mentioned in the text, if I remember right, this was a low point for Twain.
The yearlong trip was occasioned by near bankruptcy and comprised a seemingly endless series of lectures encompassing cities in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and other island communities along the way ; this a result of his famously bad business deals. Therefore, this was not exactly a I guess there is a reason this compilation is not as well known as Innocents Abroad or A Tramp Abroad. Therefore, this was not exactly a pleasure trip even if Twain did manage to get in a lot of sightseeing.
His mood is evident in that there are a lot of cynical observations on man's greed, hypocrisy and inhumanity to his fellow man. And while he would be considered a progressive even by today's standards; it does not change the fact that his attitudes toward the native cultures sound a bit paternalistic due to the prevailing attitudes of the time. That said, it was still an enjoyable read, filled with the kind of weird anecdotes Twain is fond of.
These usually involve prisoners, confidence men and other swindlers; or are stories of doubtful veracity gleaned from the locals he meets. For me the most interesting parts were in India as it furnished an endless supply of material, both for cynicism and comedy like how almost everyone knew of the "Congress of World Religions" held as part of the Colombian Exposition, which convinced them that Chicago is a "Holy City". Thus, if you are not exactly familiar with things like the Suttee, the Black Hole of Calcutta or the "Thugs" the murderous gang from which the word in English is derived , you will want to know more by the time you are done.
Definitely a worthwhile read in that you will learn something. Apr 24, Illiterate rated it liked it. Oct 06, Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing Shelves: victorian , funny , classic , history , subversive , personal-favorite , travel. In October , my arts center had a chance to sell a first edition, first printing of Mark Twain's "Following the Equator. By Mark Twain was already famous but was also almost completely broke, because of a bad series of investments in futuristic technology that would've never been able to work at the time they were being invented he sunk what would In October , my arts center had a chance to sell a first edition, first printing of Mark Twain's "Following the Equator.
By Mark Twain was already famous but was also almost completely broke, because of a bad series of investments in futuristic technology that would've never been able to work at the time they were being invented he sunk what would now be eight million dollars alone into a machine that was designed to automatically set its own type like a computer ; and so to get himself out of debt, he agreed to go on another of his famous worldwide tours, this time to far-flung locations all within the Victorian British Empire including Australia, India, South Africa and more , not only to do a hugely profitable series of speaking engagements but then to write down his experiences into a third volume of darkly humorous foreign travelogues, after his insanely successful The Innocents Abroad and A Tramp Abroad.
The aging Twain disliked the trip, lamenting that he couldn't just stay at home with his family; but the result is the exquisite Following the Equator , a grand return to his youthful irreverent form, after starting to get a little more high-falutin' in his themes and scope in his recent novels. For those who only know Twain through classroom assignments on these more famous novels, his travel writing is a real revelation, a series of grumpy and subversive dispatches on the idiocy of the human race no matter where they live, which essentially made him the Gilded Age's version of P.
Today's copy is an ultra-rare true first printing in great shape, commanding the premium price it deserves, and will automatically become one of the jewels in any Victoriana or American Humor collection that it's added to, appropriate even for acquisition by a historical society or small museum. Don't hesitate with your interest, for this is sure to sell before too long. Sep 28, Tony rated it it was amazing Shelves: travel.
Twain, Mark. Maybe because he is truly seeing some things for the first time, he is capable of being more inventive. His voyage this time follows the path of various British colonies or possessions including Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. Of course there are other stops along the way.
Twain was not a patient traveler.
Following the Equator; A Journey Around the World
Delays were aimed at him personally, as were bad meals and accomodations. All of these thin Twain, Mark. All of these things, along with the customs in the various countries he visited, get skewered in a comic style that forces a smile to your face. He has his serious side, too, in his criticism of the economic plight of the various nations he encounters and wonders how Britain can correct these evils while still managing to exploit their resources.
If you want to read vintage Twain travel books, this is one you can turn to and not be disappointed. Highly recommended. Oct 30, Maria rated it really liked it Shelves: humorous. As usual, a highly entertaining account of Twain travels. This time he travels through the Pacific - Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa mainly - with stops at various islands and smaller countries. The chapters on India were disturbing, detailing murder and suicide in the late 19th century there.
My India history is somewhat vague. I had a general idea but the specifics were hard to take. Also hard to take were all of the chapters dealing with the white man's subjugation of black natives - Au As usual, a highly entertaining account of Twain travels. Also hard to take were all of the chapters dealing with the white man's subjugation of black natives - Australia, New Zealand, etc.
The highlight of the book for me was the chapter headings with one entry from Puddn'head Wilson's New Calendar for each. I also appreciated that this book puts to rest forever as far as I'm concerned how Twain really felt about blacks and slavery, i. Wonderful book. Aug 20, Sylvester rated it really liked it Shelves: history , , humor , classic , nature , memoir-biography , adventure , voyages , audio-book , africa. I had the impression that Twain was acerbic.
Instead, I found him curious, respectful but no fraidy-cat either. His criticisms are wrapped in such wry humour, I think it would be difficult for his worst enemy not to laugh - at himself. My opinion of him shot skyward after reading this book. There is so much chatty information and wit in FTE that I am at a loss where to begin. Okay - loved the bit about the passengers watching dolphins covered with bioluminescence racing and diving through the da I had the impression that Twain was acerbic.
Okay - loved the bit about the passengers watching dolphins covered with bioluminescence racing and diving through the dark waters - what an amazing experience that must have been! And the bit about India and it's Thugees -! Did not know that. Or the complaint against pajamas - M. Has his reasons. Or when describing the ship's library, says that it's a good one for the sole reason that it doesn't contain "The Vicar of Wakefield" or anything by Jane Austen!!
I think Twain may just have been the perfect man. Sep 29, Bob Schnell rated it liked it Shelves: history , read-in , food-and-travel.
ISBN 13: 9781362418979
I'm normally a big fan of Mark Twain's travelogues, but "Following the Equator" is my least favorite so far. It is a mixed bag of anecdotes, sparse journal entries, descriptions of historical battles, observations politically incorrect ones in these times of race, dress, cultural touchstones, religion and nature along with various miscellaneous chapters that don't fit any category. Many of the things described were new to his readers at the time but today they are a bit old hat.
What is really I'm normally a big fan of Mark Twain's travelogues, but "Following the Equator" is my least favorite so far. What is really missing is Twain's wry "innocent abroad" touch that elevated his other travel books beyond mere observation and reporting. There are plenty of bits to enjoy, but it would have been nice if Twain had made a bit more effort to put it all into a more coherent narrative.
For my first book on my brand new nook color, I thought I would start with one of the books that I have always wanted to read, but could never find a copy. Reading it would be a new experience. I enjoyed this book. I have always enjoyed Twain's nonfiction-- or whatever you want to call it-- immensely. This one stood up to the earlier ones that I've read until about three-quarters the way through where it moves into an essay about South African politics much like his essay on the Congo and King L For my first book on my brand new nook color, I thought I would start with one of the books that I have always wanted to read, but could never find a copy.
This one stood up to the earlier ones that I've read until about three-quarters the way through where it moves into an essay about South African politics much like his essay on the Congo and King Leopold of Belgium. It is a very descriptive telling of a journey around the world, no matter how much politics there was at the end.
It is filled with Twain's fluid prose on all matters on the places he visits, from India to Australia. Very worth your time. Feb 25, Barbara rated it it was amazing. Five stars because it's by Mark Twain, whom I love and trust pretty much unconditionally. In his travel writing, Twain can be relied upon to cast upon humanity and its works a fresh, amused or scornful , clear-eyed gaze.
Except, it seems, Australia. No traveller has ever entertained so many pleasant illusions about this place. I wonder what we paid him? But he was scathing about the use of indentured labour on the cane fields. Nov 14, Galicius rated it really liked it Shelves: american , biographical-novel , non-fiction , travel. He barely mentions them. Twain digs into earlier histories of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, India, as well as his notes from his own earlier journeys.
He compares, for example, men only working in the fields in India, and women slaving in Bavaria, and France that he saw before. There are a couple of brief stops in Fiji, and Mauritius. I learned histories of India, such as one about the Thuds, and massacres during the English occupation, as well as the extermination of natives of Tasmania, that were new to me.
The Pudd'nhead Wilson citations at the headings of each chapter are sometimes very incisive: "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. Nov 10, Greg rated it really liked it. This is a really fun romp around the world with Mark Twain. His adventures in Australia and India are priceless. This is also the source of so many quotes from "puddin' head Wilson's new calendar".
Apr 26, Kevin McGinn rated it liked it. My favorite chapter was conclusion cause it meant it was the last. It was a bucket list read. Here, he goes back and forth telling stories about how great a foreign country is, with its buildings and nature and its people, then relating often second-hand stories of how terrible and savage those same people can be.
His extended story of the Thugs of India and their non-stop murders got to be quite long, as did his history of the Boers. There was a mood of cynicism throughout the book. My favorite concerned the speculated origins of Cecil Rhodes first fortune, based on a fast swimming shark.
Oct 18, Seamus Thompson rated it liked it. There are lots of gems here and many of the aphorisms that begin each chapter attributed to Puddd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar are masterpieces but, at the end of the day, I have to confess that Twain's brand of humor tends to grow tiresome for me -- especially in a book this long.
Having tried the print edition years ago, I listened to the audiobook this time around and, despite a truly masterful reading by Michael Kevin, found myself losing interest at about the same point a little past the halfway mark.
That said, for those who do enjoy Twain's humor or those who have read his fiction and would like to come more intimate contact with the author and his opinions Following the Equator is a travelogue treasure trove of anecdotes, observations, and opinions reporting the effects of colonialism invariably finds Twain's wit at its most acidic. It's also an interesting glimpse of a time when touring the world by steamship and train was an occupation of sorts.
I'm never quite ready to give up on Twain because there is so much about his work that is admirable and compelling, so I'll probably give this or something else of his another shot before long. Sep 25, Paul Peterson rated it really liked it. Twain was still poignant, but not cynical at this writing. Very witty and, at times, almost breathtaking in descriptive ability.
If you are a Twain fan but haven't read "Following the Equator" yet, please do. Aug 27, Meg rated it it was amazing. Twain had such amazing abilities to see things as they really were Dec 19, Dad rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. The guy was a genius- read it. And what a sense of humor! The comments include descriptions of the countries and places visited; insights into the peoples and the customs Yes there are some parts that are a little tedious but overall a very enjoyable read.
There are people who think honesty is always the best policy. This is a superstition; there are times when the appearance of it is worth six of it. Man has ruled the human race from the beginning — but he should remember that up to the middle of the present century it was a dull world, and ignorant and stupid; but it is not such a dull world now, and is growing less and less dull all the time.
I wonder where man will be in another forty seven years. The land of dreams and romances, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations- the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant… the one land that all men desire to see, and having been once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.
It has no fault, no blemish, no lack, except that there are only thirty five miles of it instead of five hundred! It seemed a fine and large thing to have accomplished; the circumnavigation of this great globe in that little time, and I was privately proud of it. For a moment. Then came one of those vanity-snubbing astronomical reports from the observatory people, whereby it appeared that another great body of light had lately flamed up in the remoteness of space which was traveling at a gait which would enable it to do all that I had done in a minute and a half.
Human pride is not worth while; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it. A nice book that give insight into the mindset of the people of the era. Mark Twain sets off from UK to traverse the world and the book gives details of the experiences of the author as he travels around. Each chapter starts with a quote from the Pudd'nhead Wilson's new Calendar. Some of them are very good do read them. Some that appealed to me are 1. Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never sho A nice book that give insight into the mindset of the people of the era.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice Two countries covered in detail are Australia and India. He has a lot to say about these two countries partly because these are two large countries that he visited. While there are many prejudiced views like "The world was made for man - the white man" there are also many objective observations like "There are many humourous things in the world; among them the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
The author vacillates from one extreme where he states that it is good that the savages aborigines in Australia were exterminated by the whites to another where he is full of praise of the lone person Malcolm in Australia who ensures that the few remaining aborigines were peacefully assimilated to live with the whites.
He observes that the aborigines of Australia were surprised at the attempts to convert them to worship Christ as their feeling about the missionaries was that they had got everything upside down. They wondered "Why, he wants us to stop worshiping and supplicating the evil gods, and go to worshiping and supplicating the Good One!
Following the Equator - AbeBooks - Mark Twain:
There is no sense in that. A good god is not going to do us any harm". A very sensible question indeed. He also observes that various traditions in terms of caste system were similar between the Maoris and the "Hindoos". It is not clear if these are from his journal or whether it is a combination of his jottings in his journal plus additions after his travel. Some parts indicate the latter as the author swings between extremes. It appears that he may have revised his thoughts after having met and after having interacted with people from different cultures.
Feb 20, Marty Reeder rated it really liked it Shelves: acquired , bedroom-bookshelf. It took Mark Twain a year to circumnavigate the globe for a lecture tour, which he would then turn into his travel memoir: Following the Equator. In the Statistical tab in the object properties area on the bottom left of the screen choose the 'Detailed' Tab. Select the objects you want to annotate by clicking on them in the statistics list or by clicking on them in the 3D view you must be in select mode to pick the 3D view.
To select multiple items press the CTRL key or for a range of items press the shift key. Your selected objects will be highlighted in both the list and the 3D view. The statistical annotation shows the name of the selected statistical parameter and its value. If the image is a time series, the statistical annotation is visible in the viewing area for all time points. Selecting a statistical variable that changes over time creates a statistical annotation that consequently changes with time.
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