Cover image for Around the world with Mark Twain
Title:
Around the world with Mark Twain
Author:
Cooper, Robert, 1931-2013.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Arcade Pub. : Distributed by Time Warner Trade Pub., [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
420 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781559705226
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

" Follow in the footsteps of one of America's most beloved writers, the immortal Mark Twain, as he circles the globe, performing before dozens of standing-room-only crowds.On July 14, 1895, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, fifty-nine years old and deeply in debt, boarded a night train from Elmira to Cleveland and launched an unprecedented worldwide performance tour. A superb platform entertainer and an international celebrity, Clemens saw the tour as a quick way to make the money he desperately needed to pay his creditors and recoup his fortune, and so he began a journey that took him across North America to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. One hundred years later, American writer Robert Cooper set out from Elmira in pursuit of Twain, following virtually every step of the legendary writer's itinerary across four continents.In this remarkable feat of biographical recreation, we see Clemens make his way to the smelters, roasting ovens, and smokestacks of Butte, Montana, where pollution was so horrific that not even grass could grow; to Baroda, India, where he examined the gold and silver ornaments of the ruler's elephants and noted their proximity to an utterly destitute village; and to a vermin-infested jail in Pretoria, South Africa, where he lifted the spirits of some of the country's richest men, the imprisoned members of the Reform Committee who had been convicted of treason by the Boer government. We glimpse Clemens the consummate professional, constantly rehearsing his routines so that they would seem completely spontaneous. And we even see Twain the celebrity: railing against late trains and ferries, grumbling about hotel accommodations, and complaining about ill health and the tedium and drudgery of endless one-night stands, all the while basking in the adulation and affection of his audiences, enjoying the all-male camaraderie of club suppers and press conferences, and delighting in meeting the great and powerful of the lands through which he traveled.Drawing upon a wide range of primary sources and first-hand accounts-including Clemens's letters, journal entries, and notes; his comments to local newspapers; the letters of his wife and daughter who accompanied him; and the observations of his tour managers-Robert Cooper has created an utterly absorbing combination of travel writing, social history, character study, and historiography. The first book-length treatment of this heroic journey since Clemens's own century-old narrative, Around the World with Mark Twain is a fascinating account of an extraordinary year in the life of an American icon."


Author Notes

Robert Cooper is an American writer who retired as professor of sociology and education at the Hebrew University.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In 1895, nearly 60 years old, plagued by ill health, and $70,000 in debt, Samuel Clemens took his wife and his daughter Clara and set out on a year-long speaking tour of the Pacific Northwest, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ceylon, Mauritius, and South Africa. The trip revitalized his worldwide celebrity and enabled him to pay back every penny he owed. It also allowed him to write Following the Equator, his last major book. Exactly 100 years later, Cooper, a journalist and former academic now living in Jerusalem, and his wife, Alice, followed Twain's footsteps as exactly as the passage of a century would allow. The result is an unusually informative blend of biography (of an underexamined segment of Twain's life), 19th-century colonial history, and travel to spots steamy and remote. Cooper has obviously steeped himself in Twain's year-long tour. At every turn, he can tell us the condition of Twain's chronic cold, what hotel he stayed at, what British official he had lunch with, and what stories he told at a given night's "At Home" event. More interesting still, he can tell us whether, after all the turbulence of the past century, the hotel is still standingDand, if so, as what. Recommended for all public and school libraries with extensive Twain collections.DCharles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Part I North Americap. 5
Part II Australiap. 63
Part III New Zealandp. 133
Part IV Indiap. 181
Part V South Africap. 263
Appendix Clemens's Itineraryp. 317
Notesp. 327
Referencesp. 393
Acknowledgmentsp. 405
Indexp. 409