Europe and Elsewhere

Europe and Elsewhere

Europe and Elsewhere

Europe and Elsewhere

Excerpt

A number of articles in this volume, even the more important, have not heretofore appeared in print. Mark Twain was nearly always writing-- busily trying to keep up with his imagination and enthusiasm: A good many of his literary undertakings remained unfinished or were held for further consideration, in time to be quite forgotten. Few of these papers were unimportant, and a fresh interest attaches to them to-day in the fact that they present some new detail of the author's devious wanderings, some new point of observation, some hitherto unexpressed angle of his indefatigable thought.

The present collection opens with a chapter from a book that was never written, a book about England, for which the author made some preparation, during his first visit to that country, in 1872. He filled several notebooks with brief comments, among which appears this single complete episode, the description of a visit to Westminster Abbey by night. As an example of what the book might have been we may be sorry that it went no farther.

It was not, however, quite in line with his proposed undertaking, which had been to write a more or less satirical book on English manners and customs. Arriving there, he found that he liked the people and their country too well for that, besides he was . . .

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