4 thoughts on “With the World’s Great Travelers

  1. Barbara Temple June 26, 2020 / 7:22 pm

    Elephants and tigers in South America !!!!!!!!!!! Ida Pfeiffer must have been somewhere else, don’t you think?


    • Kathy Stevenson June 26, 2020 / 7:55 pm

      Oh, dear!!! Thank you for catching this. I can’t believe this slipped by me (and the editors…) I will write them a note and see if I can edit it. My only excuse is that I was so caught up in reading Ida’s accounts, they blended one into another!


  2. Lawrence Burdick June 26, 2020 / 7:58 pm

    As a former antiquarian bookseller, I’m well-acquaintance ex with old books and writing, but I’ve a great love of old travel writing. The tales of horseback riding in Lebanon in the 1860s, riding rafts on the Mekong in 1910 Vietnam, or beachcombing in 1890s Siam. The descriptions of a life long-vanished in time are vivid, as are the quaint mentions of things like stations to exchange your weary horses for fresh ones.

    Sometimes the travel writers of the period mention things in passing which have great significance today. I’ll never forget Harry Franck mentioning that everyone was talking about socialism in 1918 Germany in his book, Vagabonding Through Changing Germany. Or the sheer hilarity of Richard Halliburton’s conversation with the President of the tiny nation of Andorra In The Royal Road to Romance. The President told him that when the violin was introduced to the country 200 years earlier, “It almost caused a revolution.”

    Old travel writings are like old pictures: they capture precious moments in time.


    • Kathy Stevenson June 26, 2020 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Yes, the writings are so vivid…


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