Review: The Wayward Tourist, Mark Twain’s Adventures in Australia

In 1895, in debt after the failure of a pet project, a new literary work and several investments, Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain, embarked on a lecture tour of 150 performances on five continents.To each of these, he brought his humour, his outrageous observations, and the lively, witty persona of ‘Mark Twain’.But he worked in the other direction too.He took away in equal weight lively anecdotes, humorous facts, tall tales and remarkable histories, all for the consumption of an American public curious for news of the world.

In an extensive introduction by Don Watson, Twain’s droll observations of Australia are framed by Watson’s account of Twain’s life, politics and reputation. As a historian, a satirist, and a renowned speechwriter, he is unreservedly qualified to comment on this larger-than-life personality. . . .

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