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Tag: travel books (page 1 of 12)

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. Service

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. Service

Known as the Bard of the Yukon and as a people’s poet, Robert Service immortalized his experience with the Yukon and its gold rush and this collection of poetry. While some poems are anecdotal and amusing, others capture the raw brilliance that frontiers evoke and the ever pioneering spirit of man. Alternately titled Songs of a Sourdough in the United Kingdoms.

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Fast in the Ice

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

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The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire

The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris

The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris

The first half of this book describes the devastating earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, and the subsequent destruction caused by fire. Various eyewitnesses and victims give their account on the tragedy.

In the second half, a number of different other earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are retold, like the eruption of the Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeij or the explosion of the Krakatoa, together with scientific explanations for the causes of earthquakes and the eruption of volcanos.

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Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella L. Bird

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella L. Bird

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is compiled of the letters she sent to her sister during her 7 months sojourn in Japan in 1878. Her travels there took her from Edo (now called Tokyo) through the interior – where she was often the first foreigner the locals had met – to Niigata, and from there to Aomori. There she crossed over to Yezo (Hokkaido), and her account on the life of the Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan, provides an interesting glimpse of days long past.

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Free Air

Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

This road trip novel is set in the early twentieth century and follows the experiences of an aristocratic New Englander and her father as they travel by automobile from Minneapolis to Seattle. She is wooed and won by a noble but simple commoner she meets along the way. Lewis is at his usual wryly humorous self, poking fun at the upper class and treating the common people only slightly better.

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The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines. Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author’s Note to this work, Conrad states,”Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist….Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny—to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day.”

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The South Pole

The South Pole by Roald Amundsen

The South Pole by Roald Amundsen

In contrast to Scott’s South Pole expedition, Amundsen’s expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen’s own words: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” Short accounts by other members of the party are appended.

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The Outlet

The Outlet by Andy Adams

The Outlet by Andy Adams

Andy Adams worked as a cowboy on trail drives from Texas for eight years. This is an account of a drive when he was the foreman of a herd of Texas cattle being driven to Montana. Expect the same quality writing as found in other books by Adams.

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The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave to the Commercial Travellers’ School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain. He does not seem content to rest late in his career when he had attained wealth and comfort and continued travelling locally, walking the streets of London in the mould of the flâneur, a ‘gentleman stroller of city streets’. He often suffered from insomnia and his night-time wanderings gave him an insight into some of the hidden aspects of Victorian London, details of which he also incorporated into his novels. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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The Mariner of St. Malo

The Mariner of St. Malo by Stephen Leacock

The Mariner of St. Malo by Stephen Leacock

Jacques Cartier grew up as a sailor, married well and became an agent of exploration for King Francis I of France. In April, 1534, he sailed for the New World. Before sailing, his men took an oath that they would “behave themselves truly and faithfully in the service of the Most Christian King.” Jacques’ name was made immortal by the faithfulness with which he and his men carried out that oath.

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