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Month: March 2017

An Inland Voyage

An Inland Voyage by Robert Louis Stevenson

An Inland Voyage by Robert Louis Stevenson

As a young man, Stevenson wished to be financially independent and began his literary career by writing travelogues. This is his first published work, written at a time when travel for pleasure was still a rarity. He and a friend traveled by canoe through France and Belgium and he relates how they were thrown in jail, mistaken for traveling salesmen and became embroiled in gypsy life.

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An English Girl’s First Impressions of Burmah

An English Girl's First Impressions of Burmah by Beth Ellis

An English Girl's First Impressions of Burmah by Beth Ellis

An English Girl’s First Impressions of Burmah, by Beth Ellis, is a well-edited, turn-of-the-century journal documenting a young woman’s visit to Burma. The account documents her ocean voyage to Rangoon, and her stay in a small, jungle-embedded, European community in Remyo. The author, who travelled to Asia alone to visit her brother, is quick to laugh at her own exaggerated fears. She gives us a glimpse into the less-than-glamorous lives to Myanmar’s British occupiers. The book was published in 1899, just thirteen years after the conclusion of the third Anglo-Burmese war, when Britain took formal control of Myanmar and made it a province of India

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A Woman’s Journey Round the World

A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

Ida Laura Pfeiffer was an Austrian traveler and travel book author, one of the first female explorers, whose popular books were translated into several languages. “The Woman’s Journey Around the World, from Vienna to Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, and Asia Minor” is the travel diary of the first of her two trips “around the world”, following her successful trips to the Holy Land and to Iceland.

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The Mentor: Venice, The Island City

The Mentor: Venice, The Island City by Dwight Elmendorf

The Mentor: Venice, The Island City by Dwight Elmendorf

The Pearl of the Adriatic,” she has been called. “Queen of the Sea” is another of the poetic terms applied to her. If all the expressions that have been used by admirers to pay tribute to the beauty of Venice were gathered together, they would make a glossary of eulogy of considerable size. It was inevitable from the beginning that Venice should receive such homage; for she has a beauty that distinguishes her from all other cities. She is absolutely unique in picturesque attraction and in romantic interest. There are many cities that draw the admiration of the traveler: there is but one Venice, and anyone who has been there and felt her spell cannot wonder at the worshipful admiration that she has received from the time of her birth in the sea.

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The Mentor: The National Gallery, London

The Mentor: The National Gallery, London by John Charles Van Dyke

The Mentor: The National Gallery, London by John Charles Van Dyke

NOBODY who has lived in modern times has so stirred up the world as Napoleon Bonaparte. Nobody has upset so many old things, and started so many new ones. No man ever lived who had more faith in his own powers—and less respect for those of other men. Napoleon had, too, an unusual combination of those personal qualities which excite and interest men. It is nearly a hundred years since he dropped out of active life; but his story is more rather than less thrilling as time goes on.

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The Mentor: Historic Spots of America

The Mentor: Historic Spots of America by Robert McNutt McElroy

The Mentor: Historic Spots of America by Robert McNutt McElroy

A few years before the settlement of the territory now known as the United States the people of Europe had witnessed a great naval battle in which two kinds of civilizations contended for supremacy. England and Spain were the combatants, and the issue, as we now clearly see, was whether the old idea of monarchy or the new idea of democracy should dominate two continents. Gold from Mexico and Peru had made Spain a great power. Successive royal inheritances had given to her kingly line the control of a large part of Europe. She was the champion of the Church of Rome, and regarded it as her mission to prevent all heretics from planting colonies in the New World. England, on the other hand, was the champion of Protestantism, whose doctrine of the direct responsibility of the individual led logically to democracy in government. England won the battle, destroying Spain’s great Armada, and thus opening the New World to the settlement of men professing Protestant doctrines; for as soon as Spain’s power on the seas was shattered Protestants could plant colonies without danger of having them destroyed by a Spanish man-of-war.

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The Mentor: Egypt, The Land of Mystery

The Mentor: Egypt, The Land of Mystery by Dwight Elmendorf

The Mentor: Egypt, The Land of Mystery by Dwight Elmendorf

It is no wonder that the Egyptians through all their history have worshiped the Nile; for that marvelous river is the spine, the marrow, and the life of Egypt. Indeed, it is Egypt; for living Egypt is only a narrow strip twelve or fifteen miles wide,—simply the banks of the Nile. Herodotus called Egypt “the gift of the Nile.” The river nourishes and controls the land. All along that waterway are to be found wonders and mysteries of the past. The mind balks in contemplation of the monuments of Egypt. They whisper messages from so far distant a time that we stagger in trying to grasp their meaning.

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