Among the most popular travel books ever written, here in one volume are the works that transformed an obscure Western journalist into a national celebrity. A hilarious blend of vaudevillian comedy, travel guide, and stinging satire, The Innocents Abroad narrates the progress of the first American organized grand tour of Europe and the Holy Land. Roughing It is a light-hearted account of Mark Twain's real and imagined adventures during the Civil War out West. Accounts of stagecoach travel, Indians, Western dress, food drink, frontier society, Mormons, the Chinese, and "the code of the West" are mingled with tenderfoot Twain's experiences as prospector, miner, journalist, and boon companion.
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimentaland also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called "the Lincoln of our literature."