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Samuel Clemens (1835–1910) repeatedly traversed the ocean during his globetrotting life. A keen observer, the man who recast himself as Mark Twain was fascinated by seafaring. This book compiles selections ranging from his first voyage in 1866—San Francisco to Hawaii—to his circumnavigation of the world by steamship 1897. Despite his background as a “brown water” mariner, Twain was out of his element on the ocean. His writings about being at sea (as well as feeling at sea) reflect both a growing familiarity with voyaging and an enduring sense of amazement. Twain’s shipboard observations capture his interest and amusement in the “blue water” mariners he encountered, with their salty subculture and individual quirks. Twain at Sea collects the author’s essays and travelogues on the maritime world in one volume, including excerpts from Roughing It, The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad, Following the Equator, and other sources.
About the Author
MARK TWAIN was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the village of Florida, Missouri, in 1835. He worked four years on a Mississippi steamboat, frequently traveled overseas, and wrote about all of his voyages. In between these pursuits, he invented the American novel with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He died in Redding, Connecticut, in 1910. ERIC PAUL ROORDA is professor of history at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and co-director of The Munson Institute, a graduate maritime studies program at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. He is the author of The Dictator Next Door, which won two national book awards, and Cuba, America, and the Sea. He is the co-editor of The Dominican Republic Reader: History, Politics, Culture and the editor of The Ocean Reader: History, Politics, Culture.