The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 22


The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 22
Night in Venice--The "Gay Gondolier"--The Grand Fete by Moonlight--The Notable Sights of Venice--The Mother of the Republics Desolate

Much like chapter 11, where we visit the dungeons of France, here we visit the chambers of the Council of Three and the Bridge of Sighs. Twain is not timid about demonstrating man's inhumanity to man. Again Mark Twain is disappointed to learn his preconceived ideas of Venice are not realized. Nighttime, however, returns some of the glamour he expected.

I've tried to create a tour of Venice with an assortment of images from Wikipedia Commons. Chapter 22 contains only two illustrations, the gondolier about to jump overboard and a drawing of St Marks. The slideshow was created using the open source program Imagination.

The letter to Daily Alta California is apparently out of sequence with Twain's actual itinerary, number fourteen. McKeithan, in Traveling with the Innocents Abroad, 1958, speculates that it was actually written in Naples in August. The letter caption claims a date of July 29, 1867. He had written a letter to a Naples newspaper dated August 2 protesting the quarantine of the Quaker City at Naples and he had visited a number of locations between his visit to Venice and his arrival in Naples.

Some of the material in this chapter can be found in Letter 13, linked to Chapter 30 on this site. Twain makes a comment about his gondolier "with a portion of his raiment on exhibition which should have been sacred from public scrutiny". This sounds rather ribald when in fact the letter indicates that the gondolier merely had his shirt tail out.


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Submitted by scott on

This chapter contains material from Letter Number 13 Daily Alta California. This includes an example of poor editing on Twain's part in regards to the gondolier having his shirt tail out. This became the more ribald "a portion of his raiment on exhibition".