Mark Twain in Hawaii: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands

Book 17

This is the second time in a row that I have picked up a short Twain book and taken forever to read it.

Twain visited the Hawaiian islands in the 1860s and sent many dispatches back to the states about his experiences.  This is a compilation.  There was an interesting note in the Forward that Twain meant to write a novel about Hawaii that never materialized. One theory is that he turned that particular outline into A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Anyway.  I will need to do some homework on just exactly how much of this text is true.  It leaves the impression that Hawaiians 150 years ago were always naked and just barely past the ritual of human sacrifice.  The photographs tell a different story.  About the nudity, anyway.

Twain’s wit certainly comes through in these pieces, as do his admiration for the islands.  I have to say my favorite part was the description of the volcano on the Big Island.  It sounds exactly the same.

I need to go Google Captain Cook now.  Did they really boil his bones?

P.S. Please note that I read my souvenir vacation book immediately after the actual vacation.

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