The Innocents Abroad: Reading Mark Twain Aloud

By , November 14, 2009

Shortly after telling you about how we like to read aloud, we picked out and started a new book. We’re reading The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (available through your local bookstore). Aly wanted to read it, and I’m a pretty big Twain fan, so I offered to read it aloud. I’m glad I did!

I’ve known the title for years, but haven’t ever read The Innocents Abroad. I never realized what I was missing. Not only is it a very revealing look into the society of an age (post Civil War 1860s) that no longer exists, and an eye witness description of famous foreign cities and attractions as they appeared then, it’s funny! Twain’s dry wit has held up well over the last century. So far, we’ve come across many comments that have become well known Twain quotes since the book’s publication.

One we hadn’t heard before has become a new favorite. Twain was commenting on a day trip to Tangiers, but the comment resonated with us, tucked away as we are in our little homestead enclave:

“Care cannot assail us here. We are out of its jurisdiction.”

We’re not very far along in the book yet, after starting about a week ago. There’s a lot to do around the homestead, so we don’t have a lot of opportunities to sit.

We’re getting the chance today, though—a storm’s blowing. This is not just a generic stretch of foul weather, this is 50 knot, Beaufort Scale number 10 Storm (Whole Gale)—an official, capital S Storm! We shut the wind generator down last night for safety before going to bed, and won’t start it back up until the storm blows itself out.

It’s a perfect day to hunker down and read aloud!

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