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Across Asia on a Bicycle

In 1890, two Americans newly graduated from college set out to travel around the world on a then-new invention, the modern bicycle. In 1893 they returned, have covered over 15,000 miles, at that time the “longest continuous land journey ever made around the world.” This is their account of their trip across Turkey, Persia, Turkestan and northern China. It described their adventures traveling along through regions few outsiders ever visited. And include climbing Mount Ararat (they didn’t find an ark) and a meeting with the then Chinese Prime Minister. And numerous photographs selected from the 2,500 taken on the almost 3 year trip. (summary by Annise)

Across Mongolian Plains: A Naturalist’s Account of China’s ‘Great Northwest’

An account of a 1918 journey to Northern China by famed adventurer/paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews. Andrews, who was the inspiration for the many explorer hero characters (including Indiana Jones), wrote this book for the general public, excluding “scientific details” that they might find “wearisome”. – Summary by Matthew M. Benzing NOTE: This book contains many accounts of hunting animals for sport and for exhibition in a museum.

Afloat on the Ohio

Afloat on the Ohio, An Historical Pilgrimage, of a Thousand Miles in a Skiff, From Redstone to Cairo. There were four of us pilgrims?my Wife, our Boy of ten and a half years, the Doctor, and I. My object in going?the others went for the outing?was to gather “local color” for work in Western history. The Ohio River was an important factor in the development of the West. I wished to know the great waterway intimately in its various phases,?to see with my own eyes what the borderers saw; in imagination, to redress the pioneer stage, and repeople it. ( From the Preface )

American Notes

In American Notes, Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel Prize-winning author of the Jungle Book, visits the USA. As the travel-diary of an Anglo-Indian Imperialist visiting the USA, these American Notes offer an interesting view of America in the 1880s. Kipling affects a wide-eyed innocence, and expresses astonishment at features of American life that differ from his own, not least the freedom (and attraction) of American women. However, he scorns the political machines that made a mockery of American democracy, and while exhibiting the racist attitudes that made him controversial in the 20th century concludes ?It is not good to be a negro in the land of the free and the home of the brave.? G. A. England of Harvard University (letter to The New York Times 10/11/1902) wrote: ?To the American temperament, the gentleman who throws stones while himself living in a glass house cannot fail to be amusing; the more so if, as in Mr Kipling?s case, he appears to be in a state of maiden innocence regarding the structure of his own domicile.? (Summary by Tim Bulkeley with Quotations from the Gutenberg edition of American Notes and the online version of The New York Times of October 11th 1902.)

American Notes (Version 2)

Charles Dickens records his impressions of America during his 1842 journey. – Summary by Brad “Hamlet” Filippone

American Notes for General Circulation

American Notes for General Circulation is a travelogue by Charles Dickens detailing his trip to North America from January to June, 1842. While there he acted as a critical observer of these societies almost as if returning a status report on their progress. This can be compared to the style of his Pictures from Italy written four years later, where he wrote far more like a tourist. His American journey was also an inspiration for his novel Martin Chuzzlewit. (Summary by Wikipedia)

American Scenery, Vol. 1

Although the focus of this book is the engravings depicting scenic sites of 19th century America, each is accompanied by a short description of the site and location. These vignettes give us rare glimpses of scenic locations as they appeared in 1840. All sites are in the eastern part of the United States, especially New England and New York. This is Volume One of a two-volume set. (Summary by Larry Wilson)

American Scenery, Vol. 2

Although the focus of this book is the engravings depicting scenic sites of 19th century America, each is accompanied by a short description of the site and location. These vignettes give us rare glimpses of scenic locations as they appeared in 1840. All sites are in the eastern part of the United States, especially New England and New York. This is Volume Two of a two-volume set. – Summary by Larry Wilson The Book Coordinators for this project were Larry Wilson and Linette Geisel

An Account of Egypt by Herodotus

HERODOTUS was born at Halicarnassus, on the southwest coast of Asia Minor, in the early part of the fifth century, B. C. Of his life we know almost nothing, except that he spent much of it traveling, to collect the material for his writings, and that he finally settled down at Thurii, in southern Italy, where his great work was composed. He died in 424 B. C. The subject of the history of Herodotus is the struggle between the Greeks and the barbarians, which he brings down to the battle of Mycale in 479 B. C. The work, as we have it, is divided into nine books, named after the nine Muses, but this division is probably due to the Alexandrine grammarians. His information he gathered mainly from oral sources, as he traveled through Asia Minor, down into Egypt, round the Black Sea, and into various parts of Greece and the neighboring countries. The chronological narrative halts from time to time to give opportunity for descriptions of the country, the people, and their customs and previous history; and the political account is constantly varied by rare tales and wonders. Among these descriptions of countries the most fascinating to the modern, as it was to the ancient, reader is his account of the marvels of the land of Egypt. From the priests at Memphis, Heliopolis, and the Egyptian Thebes he learned what he reports of the size of the country, the wonders of the Nile, the ceremonies of their religion, the sacredness of their animals. He tells also of the strange ways of the crocodile and of that marvelous bird, the Phoenix; of dress and funerals and embalming; of the eating of lotos and papyrus; of the pyramids and the great labyrinth; of their kings and queens and courtesans. – Summary by the author

Birdseye Views of Far Lands

Birdseye Views of Far Lands is an interesting, wholesome presentation of something that a keen-eyed, alert traveler with the faculty of making contrasts with all classes of people in all sorts of places, in such a sympathetic way as to win their esteem and confidence, has been able to pick up as he has roamed over the face of the earth for a quarter of a century. The book is not a geography, a history, a treatise on sociology or political economy. It is a Human Interest book which appeals to the reader who would like to go as the writer has gone and to see as the writer has seen the conformations of surface, the phenomena of nature and the human group that make up what we call a “world.” The reader finds facts indicating travel and study set forth in such vigorous, vivid style that the attention is held by a story while most valuable information is being obtained. The casual reader, the pupil in the public school and student in the high school, professional men and women, will all find the book at once highly interesting and instructive. In no other book with which I am acquainted can so much that is interesting be learned of the world in so short time and in such a pleasing way. Teachers in rural schools will find the book especially helpful. It will inspire the pupils in the upper grades in these schools to do some observation work themselves and to in this manner seek to learn their own localities better, while at the same time it will suggest the collection of materials about other countries, their peoples, products, characteristics and importance from sources other than text books. Every rural school as well as every high school and public library in the land should have one or more copies of this book. (Summary from book’s Introduction.)

Bohemian San Francisco

While describing his dining experiences throughout “Bohemian San Francisco,” Clarence Edwords paints an historic panorama of California cuisine with all its cosmopolitan influences. Best of all, he offers tantalizing recipes culled from conversations with the master chefs of 1914 in “The City by the Bay.” (Summary by Denny)

Bonaparte in Egypt and the Egyptians of To-day

Knowing the Egyptian as I know him, I cannot but think that he is greatly misunderstood, even by those who are sincerely anxious to befriend him. His faults and his failings are to be found at large in almost any of the scores of books that have of late years been written about him and his country; but, though not a few have given him credit for some of his more salient good points, yet none that I have seen have shown any just appreciation of him as he really is. (From the Preface)

Collection: Tales of the Cities

This is a collection of city stories, fiction or non-fiction, in English and published before 1923. Contributions have been chosen by the readers themselves. Summary by BellonaTimes.

The “Falcon” on the Baltic

A coasting voyage boyage in a small yacht from Hammersmith in the UK to Copenhagen and back, including various visits to places on the Baltic. – Summary by Jane Bennett

The Alps, the Danube and the Near East

Journeying through many countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Switzerland and Greece, the author gives an in-depth account of many aspects of the culture of the times and the people of the regions. (Summary by Betty B)

The Amateur Emigrant

In July 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson left Scotland to meet his future wife in her native California. Leaving by ship from Glasgow, Scotland, he determined to travel in steerage class to see how the working classes fared. At the last minute he was convinced by friends to purchase a ticket one grade above the lowest price, for which he was later thankful after seeing the conditions in steerage, but he still lived among the ‘lower’ classes. His comments on the experience make interesting reading. His father however was so shocked at the thought of his son associating with people ‘beneath him’ that the work was not published for a number of years, (Summary by annise)

The American Far West: Seven Mid-Nineteenth Century Views From Abroad

Charles Dickens started and edited a magazine called All The Year Round, a weekly collection of articles on a wide variety of topics. An anonymous correspondent in 1868-69 sent in these seven articles about life in the far West of the United States. – Summary by david wales

The Book of Camping and Woodcraft: A Guidebook for Those Who Travel in the Wilderness

In the Introduction to Camping and Woodcraft, Horace Kephart wrote: ?My one aim in writing this little book is to make it of practical service to those who seek rest or sport in the wilderness, or whose business calls them thither.? The author further described the content of this book: ?In the following chapters I offer some suggestions on outfitting, making camps, dressing and keeping game and fish, camp cookery, forest travel, how to avoid getting lost, and what to do if one does get lost, living off the country, what the different species of trees are good for (from a camper’s viewpoint), backwoods handicrafts in wood, bark, skins and other raw materials, the treatment of wounds and other injuries, and some other branches of woodcraft that may be of service when one is far from shops and from hired help.? Camping and Woodcraft was his first book and is actually a collection of articles that had been published in Field and Stream magazine. Horace Kephart, born in 1862, was raised in Pennsylvania and Iowa then trained as a librarian at Cornell University. He worked in St Louis near the Ozark mountains for a portion of his life (1890 ? 1904) then moved to western North Carolina where he lived near Hazel Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains then near Bryson City. Kephart was a campaigner for the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which was created in 1926. He was the author of a number of books and articles on the outdoors. (Summary by Gail Timmerman-Vaughan, based on Wikipedia – Horace Kephart)

The Book of the Ocean

The Book of the Ocean is precisely what its title promises. It contains a rather broad overview of all topics connected to the ocean, such as its geography and the history of the exploration of the oceans. Besides the oceans themselves, the book contains several chapters on the different aspects of seafaring: building ships and seafaring, war ships, merchant ships and voyages, piracy, and yachting. – Summary by Carolin

The Cruise of the Alerte – In Search of Treasure

The book describes a voyage undertaken in 1889 by an English barrister Edward Frederick Knight to the South Seas. This delightful story takes the reader on a voyage to the forbidding desert island of Trindade, where it is rumored that immense treasure lies buried. Though the heroes of this treasure-hunt do not have to contend with malicious people, they have their share of adventures. Almost inaccessible desert island, changing weather, hideous land crabs and heavy digging in the mud are enough challenges for the brave adventurers. (Kristine Bekere)

The Cruise of the Falcon – A Voyage to South America in a 30-Ton Yacht

In this fine sailing and exploring yarn, Edward Frederick Knight (1852-1925), sometime English barrister, journalist, sportsman, and amateur seaman, conspires over a fish dinner in Harwich to buy and refit the tiny yacht Falcon, recruit a crew of four (and a cabin boy), and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to South America. This they do, despite naysayers who advised painting the yacht’s name conspicuously on her keel to aid identification when found floating upside down in some foreign sea. The book provides detailed descriptions of sailing in difficult waters and powerful storms, the spectacular scenery of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, sport hunting in unspoiled jungles, frequent revolutions (and a terrible war of annihilation) and, perhaps most important, the customs of the many different peoples who inhabit the South American continent. As was common practice in his day, Knight assumes the superiority of the ?white? races and is not hesitant to express his sometimes less-than-favorable impressions of the ?lesser? races he encounters. But he offers high praise for the beauty of the land and the kindness of the people he meets. (Steven Seitel)

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 03

National Geographic Magazine Volume 3, articles published in 1891 and 1892. South America: Annual Address by the President, Gardiner G. Hubbard Geography of the Land: Annual Report by Vice-President Herbert G. Ogden Geography of the Air: Annual Report by Vice-President A. W. Greely An Expedition to Mount St. Elias, Alaska Introduction. The Southern Coast of Alaska Part I. Previous Explorations in the St. Elias Region Part II. Narrative of the St. Elias Expedition of 1890 Part III. Sketch of the Geology of the St. Elias Region Part IV. Glaciers of the St. Elias Region Part V. Height and Position of Mount St. Elias Appendix A. Official Instructions governing the Expedition Appendix B. Report on topographic Work Appendix C. Report on auriferous Sands from Yakutat bay Appendix D. Report on fossil Plants The Cartography and Observations of Bering’s First Voyage Height and Position of Mount St. Elias The Heart of Africa Report of Committee on Exploration in Alaska Notes: La Carte de France, dite de l’Etat Major Polar Regions The crossing of Tibet Statistics of Railways in United States

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 04

The National Geographic Magazine Volume 4, articles published in 1892 and 1893. The Evolution of Commerce: Annual Address by the President, Gardiner G. Hubbard Studies of Muir Glacier, Alaska Geography of the Air: Annual Report by Vice-President General A. W. Greely The Mother Maps of the United States An Expedition through the Yukon District The North American Deserts The Alaskan Boundary Survey Collinson’s Arctic Journey Notes: Topographic Survey of Canada Lieutenant Peary’s Crossing of northern Greenland Geographic Prizes

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 02. February 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the February Number. It includes the following articles: * Venezuela: Her Government, People, and Boundary, by William E. Curtis * The Panama Canal Route, by Robert T. Hill * The Tehuantepec Ship Railway, by Elmer L. Corthell * The Present State of the Nicaragua Canal, by Gen. A. W. Greely * Explorations by the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1895, by W. J. McGee * The Valley of the Orinoco, by T. H. Gignilliat * Yucatan in 1895 along with geographic literature and notes.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 05. May 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the May Number. It includes the following articles: * Africa Since 1888, by Hon. Gardiner G. Hubbard, LL. D. * Fundamental Geographic Relation of the Three Americas, by Robert T. Hill * The Kansas River, by Arthur P. Davis * Annual Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, by Herbert G. Ogden along with geographic literature, and a few miscellaneous notes.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 06. June 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the June Number. It includes the following articles: * The Seine, the Meuse, and the Moselle, by William M. Davis * Across the Gulf by rail to Key West, by Jefferson B. Browne * A geographical description of the British Islands, by W. M. Davis * The Mexican Census along with geographic literature, notes and miscellanea.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 07. July 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the July Number. It includes the following articles: * The Work of the United States Board on Geographic Names, by Henry Gannett * The Seine, the Meuse, and the Moselle, part II, by William M. Davis * A Journey in Ecuador, by Mark B. Kerr, C. E. * The Aberration of Sound as Illustrated by the Berkeley Powder Explosion, by Robert H. Chapman * Mineral Production in the United States along with Geographic Notes and Miscellanea.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 08. August 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the August Number. It includes the following articles: * The Work of the National Geographic Society * Eighth Annual Field Meeting of the National Geographic Society * Geographic History of the Piedmont Plateau, by W J McGee * Spottswood’s Expedition of 1716, by Dr William M. Thornton * Jefferson as a Geographer, by Gen. A. W. Greely * Albemarle in Revolutionary Days, by Dr G. Brown Goode along with Geographic Notes and Miscellanea.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol. 07 – 11. November 1896

The National Geographic Magazine, an illustrated monthly, the November Number. It includes the following articles: * The Witwatersrand and the Revolt of the Uitlanders, by George F. Becker * The Economic Aspects of Soil Erosion (Part 2) by Dr N. S. Shaler * A Critical Period in South African History, by John Hyde * Geographical Notes – Asia

Travel Collection: Short Non-fiction

A collection of short, non-fiction travel memoirs or guides written in, or translated into, English. Material covered might be a museum, a village or town, or a particular voyage or train journey, or other travelogues of potential interest to listeners. – Summary by KevinS