The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 16


The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 16
Versailles—Paradise Regained—A Wonderful Park—Paradise Lost—Napoleonic Strategy

Twain is enraptured by Versailles. This is a rather interesting shift for Twain. Previously he has complained of the "worship of man" exhibited in the paintings of the "old masters" while here we have him waxing poetical over the works of man. He goes so far as to compare the gardens of Versailles with the Garden of Eden. It seems he even forgives the cost in human life it took to build the place.

This chapter follows the Daily Alta California letter very closely until the end. In the letter he expresses disappointment that he did not have his derringer at hand when Napoleon III and Sultan Abdul Aziz passed within six feet of him while visiting the Bois de Boulogne. He doesn't say which of these men he would wish to shoot. In the book Twain again expresses opposition to imperialism. This time in regards to Napoleon III installing Maximillian of Austria as emperor of Mexico and subsequent execution by Juárez.

The slideshow was produced using PhotoFilmStrip with a single image from the book along with images from Wikipedia. I'm not satisfied with the quality of the reading however. Timing and cadence is off in too many places. So it goes.


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Submitted by scott on

The section on Versailles comes from Letter 5 Daily Alta California with a number of editorial changes.