The Folio Society presents Jules Verne’s fantastical adventure Around the World in Eighty Days in a spectacularly fitting edition, replete with a giant fold-out map designed by sought-after artist Kristjana S. Williams.
The Innocents Abroad
Illustrated by James Albon
Introduced by Paul Theroux
Mark Twain’s classic travelogue The Innocents Abroad firmly established him as a writer and humourist of dazzling perspicacity. This Folio Society edition is newly introduced by Paul Theroux and lavishly illustrated by James Albon.
‘The father of American literature.’
- William Faulkner
Largely remembered for his novels, Mark Twain achieved his greatest literary success within his lifetime with The Innocents Abroad. When the fledgling journalist boarded the steamship Quaker City in 1867, it was the dawn of the age of tourism, and his acutely observed and humorous account of the five-month grand tour of Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land captivated readers … as it still does today. From Tangier to Versailles, Odessa, the Dead Sea and the Pyramids of Egypt, Twain’s acerbic reporting leaves no person or place off-limits. There are attempts to speak French to the French; fear at the hands of demon barbers; overzealous tour guides; and large doses of religious fervour. But above all, there are Twain’s mesmerising descriptions of both the overarching beauty of the Old World and its pockets of desperate poverty.
Award-winning illustrator James Albon has captured the eccentricities of the travellers and the myriad locations in a set of stylish colour and black-and-white lino-cuts that echo Twain’s sardonic and eagle-eyed prose, while the striking map endpapers chart the highlights of this fascinating voyage. For the newly commissioned introduction, celebrated travel writer Paul Theroux shares his admiration for Twain, particularly his desire to look beyond clichéd experiences and portray the gritty realism of epic travel.
Bound in printed and blocked cloth
Set in Abril Text with Victoriana as display
7 full-page colour illustrations, 11 black & white integrated illustrations
Printed map endpapers
10˝ x 6¾˝
Twain’s prose is rich and expressive, drawing the reader into the minutiae of his trip, the quirks of his fellow travellers and the people he meets abroad. The narrative proved the perfect stimulus for illustrator James Albon, whose nostalgic style and comic-book influences bring the characters alive, while his considered choice of palette pinpoints the era. Seven colour, and a further eleven integrated black-and-white illustrations, illuminate this trip, and Albon’s work continues on the printed map endpapers and gold-blocked binding design. In his newly commissioned introduction, Paul Theroux writes that Twain: ‘... prefers to turn the traditional travel book form on its head, debunking it with gratuitous foolery’. This superb edition embodies Twain’s ‘gratuitous foolery’, ensuring his remarkable observations are preserved for generations to come.
‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.’
The Grand Tour was on the cusp of becoming a rite of passage for wealthy Americans when Mark Twain booked his place aboard the Quaker City steamship for a five-month ‘picnic on a gigantic scale’. Funded by posting regular articles to the Alta California newspaper, Twain set sail from New York in September 1867, taking in a long list of cultural and historical must-sees. The Innocents Abroad is a delightful blend of social commentary and satire: Twain’s acerbic reporting leaves no person or place off-limits, with a generous word count reserved for lambasting the tourists themselves.
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