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Month: March 2014

A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

A Tramp Abroad is a work of non-fiction travel literature by American author Mark Twain. The book details a journey by the author, with his friend Harris (a character created for the book, and based on his closest friend, Joseph Twichell), through central and southern Europe. While the stated goal of the journey is to walk most of the way, the men find themselves using other forms of transport as they traverse the continent. The book is often thought to be an unofficial sequel to an earlier Twain travel book,The Innocents Abroad.

As the two men make their way through Germany, the Alps, and Italy, they encounter situations made all the more humorous by their reactions to them. The narrator (Twain) plays the part of the American tourist of the time, believing that he understands all that he sees, but in reality understanding none of it. The term “tramp” is meant as in a “walk-about” and not as in a “bum”.

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A Wanderer in Florence

A Wanderer in Florence by E. V. Lucas

A Wanderer in Florence by E. V. Lucas

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The Marble Faun – Volume 2

The Marble Faun - Volume 2 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun – Volume 2 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne’s most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared to Eve, Beatrice Cenci, Lady Macbeth, Judith, and Cleopatra, and is being pursued by a mysterious, threatening Model; Hilda, an innocent copyist who is compared to the Virgin Mary; Kenyon, a sculptor, who represents rationalist humanism; and Donatello, the Count of Monti Beni, who is compared to Adam, resembles the Faun of Praxiteles, and is probably only half human.

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