TOV Research

The Innocents Abroad

by Mark Twain
June 1867

Abstract and Quotes

Innocents Abroad is a travel journal by Mark Twain based on a voyage to Europe and the Holy Land aboard the Quaker City, a decommissioned Civil War ship.

Notable destinations and side trips along the coast of the Mediterranean and Black Seas:

  • The Port of Marseille on France's southern coast
  • Exposition Universelle (1867) in Paris. (Travel by train from Marseille)
  • Traveled through the Papal States and visited Rome
  • Odessa often described as the "pearl of the Black Sea"
  • Ottoman Palestine - Tour of the Holy Land

"Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"

"In the afternoon the ship's company assembled aft, on deck, under the awnings; the flute, the asthmatic meodeon, and the consumptive clarinet crippled the Star Spangled Banner, the choir chased it to cover, and George came in with a peculiarly lacerating screech on the final note and slaughtered it. Nobody mourned."

"One must travel, to learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning."

Mount Tabor "stands solitary .. [in a] silent plain .. a desolation .. we never saw a human being on the whole route .. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country"

Historical Notes

Exposition Universelle (1867)
World's Fair held in Paris, from April 1 to November 3, 1867. Napoleon III was Emperor. Participants included 42 nations and 52,200 businesses. Visitors 15 million. Inventions: Hydraulic elevator and reinforced concrete.

Papal States
A group of territories in central Italy ruled by the popes from 754 until 1870. They were originally given to the papacy by Pepin the Short and reached their greatest extent in 1859. The last papal state, the Vatican City, was formally established as a separate state by the Lateran Treaty of 1929.
Cite: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright 2016

Ottoman Palestine
In 1516 the Ottoman Turks conquered Palestine, and the territory was incorporated in the Ottoman Empire. Palestine remained under Turkish rule until World War I.


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