By Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson was not only a gifted writer, he was also an indefatigable traveller. His thirst for adventure was formed by his boyhood visits to remote Scottish lighthouses, and he spent much of his life fleeing the rigours of cold climates and social orthodoxy. Along the way he travelled with a donkey through the Cevennes, booked passage to and across America, and finally famously settled in Samoa in the South Seas.
An Inland Voyage, first published in 1878, is Stevenson's earliest book. It describes a voyage undertaken with this Scottish friend Sir Walter Grindlay Simpson, mostly along the Oise River from Belgium through France, in the autumn of 1876. Stevenson and Simpson each had a wooden canoe rigged with a sail, propelled with double-bladed paddles, a style that had recently become popular.
An Inland Voyage paints a delightful picture of Europe in a more innocent time, with quirky innkeepers, travelling entertainers and puppeteers, ramshackle military units parading with drums and swords, and gypsy-like families living on canal barges. Stanfords Travel Classics feature some of the finest historical travel writing in the English language, with authors hailing from both sides of the Atlantic. Every title has been reset in a contemporary typeface to create a series that every lover of fine travel literature will want to collect and keep.
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