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History of a Six Weeks’ Tour

History of a Six Weeks' Tour by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley

History of a Six Weeks' Tour by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley

Full titled History of a Six Weeks’ Tour through a part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland; with Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva and of the Glaciers of Chamouni, this small journal was a travel narrative kept by the English Romantic authors Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley. They describe two trips, both taken by Mary, Percy, and Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont: one across Europe in 1814, and one to Lake Geneva in 1816. Divided into three sections, the text consists of a journal, four letters, and Percy Shelley’s poem “Mont Blanc”. Apart from the poem, the text was primarily written and organized by Mary Shelley.

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Idle Days in Patagonia

Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson

Idle Days in Patagonia by W. H. Hudson

Hudson traveled to Patagonia to study the birds, but shortly upon arrival accidentally shot himself in the knee, requiring a lengthy period of idleness to recover, hence the title of the book. It’s not just a work of ornithology, but a personal memoir of the people and natural history of Patagonia.

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Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea

Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea by Bliss Carman

Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea by Bliss Carman

This collection of lyric poems evokes the sea in every line, from birth (A Son of the Sea) to death (Outbound). The smells, sights and sounds of the Canada’s East Coast feature prominently.

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Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife

Army Letters from an Officer's Wife by Frances Marie Antoinette Mack Roe

Army Letters from an Officer's Wife by Frances Marie Antoinette Mack Roe

Frances was the young wife of a West Point Army officer, whose career took them both to frontier garrisons in what are now the states of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. Her letters home to her family in upstate New York, written between 1871 and 1888, are a fascinating chronicle of life on the frontier. Despite the grittiness of keeping house in tent-and-log-cabin quarters, Frances took to Western life, learning to shoot and ride (side saddle), fly fish for trout and hunt buffalo. Her letters, chatty and detailed, open windows on varied aspects of frontier and army life: army protocol (including the right of senior officers to bump subordinates out of their housing ); the Indian tribes–Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Apache, Kiowa (ceremonial visits from chiefs as well as Indian warfare); the black cavalry troops (at Camp Supply in Indian Territory); Chinese cooks (also Polish, Irish, and enlisted men doing kitchen duty). Her letters span years of rapid change in the West. They touch on the disappearance of the buffalo herds, the decline of the Indian tribes and the coming of the railroads. Even Yellowstone Park, established in 1872, gets a mention: “Now that the park can be reached by railroad, all of the generals, congressmen, and judges are seized with a desire to inspect it–in other words, it gives them a fine excuse for an outing at Uncle Sam’s expense.”

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History of New Brunswick

History of New Brunswick by Peter Fisher

History of New Brunswick by Peter Fisher

Originally published under the title: Sketches of New Brunswick : containing an account of the first settlement of the province, with a brief description of the country, climate, productions, inhabitants, government, rivers, towns, settlements, public institutions, trade, revenue, population, and by an inhabitant of the province. The value of this history is in the fact that it was written when the Province was still in its infancy. Although there had been a few small settlements established in New Brunswick prior to 1783, the main influx of settlers were Loyalists who chose to remove to the area from the United States following the American Revolution.

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Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada by Clarence King

Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada by Clarence King

“Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada” is a memoir by Clarence King of his adventures and work with the California Geological Survey. King later led a major survey along the 40th Parallel in the American West and then was appointed the first director of the new U.S. Geological Survey.

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Poems on Travel

Poems on Travel

Poems on Travel

This volume of poetry takes the reader, or rather the listener, along on a literary tour through Europe. R.M. Leonard has collected the finest (as of 1914) poems by some of the most celebrated poets of the English language, all covering the subject of travel, and often concerning travelling to a certain city or region in Europe.

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The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippines

The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippines by Isabel Anderson

The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippines by Isabel Anderson

Isabel Anderson has written a most interesting travelogue of Hawaii and The Philippines. Actually it is more of a history lesson. Anyone with any interest whatsoever in the South Pacific will find this book very interesting indeed, to note all that has changed since Mrs. Anderson had traveled there.

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Personal Narrative of Travels – Volume 2

Personal Narrative of Travels - Volume 2 by Alexander von Humboldt

Personal Narrative of Travels – Volume 2 by Alexander von Humboldt

In 1799, with extensive travel permissions from the Spanish government, Alexander von Humboldt and the botanist Aimé Bonpland departed for the Americas on a journey of exploration that would last well into 1804. In writing the “Personal Narrative…”, von Humboldt combined a description of the places and people of their travels with diverse scientific observations; but particularly of plants and animals, geology, weather and astronomy. von Humboldt’s narrative (and Thomasina Ross’s translation) of their adventures is marvelously well written and at times poetically descriptive. Volume I of the “Personal Narrative….”, covers their preparations, departure from Spain, and their travels to the Canary Islands, Tobago, Cumana and vicinity, and Caracas and vicinity in Venezuela. Alexander von Humboldt was a member of the Prussian aristocracy. He was well educated and as a young man worked as an inspector of mines. After receiving an inheritance from his Mother, he was able to follow his desire to explore and follow scientific pursuits, and was sufficiently wealthy to equip and fund his scientific expeditions. Although not a household name today (unless you live in one of the 18 places named after him), von Humboldt was the best known naturalist of his day, and his published observations and interpretations have a very important place in the history of science. For example, he strongly influenced Charles Darwin. He aimed to find the universal principles that integrate all aspects of nature (the Unity of Nature) rather than to just describe and as such is considered to be the founder of biogeography; and he is recognized as being among the first to describe the effect of human activity on climate.

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Three Days on the Ohio River

Three Days on the Ohio River by William A. Alcott

Three Days on the Ohio River by William A. Alcott

This 1854 narration of a trip upon the Ohio River in a steamboat from Cincinnati to Pittsburg gives a picture of travel in a different time and almost a different United States. The author was well-known in his time and wrote prolifically.

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