Mark Twain was America's foremost novelist, journalist, and satirist who has been hailed as the "father of American literature". And he was also an accomplished travel writer. Born in Missouri in 1835 as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, he spent his early years as a Mississippi River pilot and as a prospector in Nevada before he settled in California. He wrote his first travel book, The Innocents Abroad, after an 1867 trip to the Mediterranian and Palestine.
After his second trip to Europe, which took him (and his family) to Germany for the first time, he wrote A Tramp Abroad. Only his third trip abroad — troubled by a shaky financial situation — brought the family to Berlin, from October 1891 to March 1892, first in a tenement in the district of Tiergarten, later in a posh hotel Unter den Linden. Twain was invited to Berlin salons and socialized with Prussian royalty, including the Kaiser.
However, he suffered from rheumatism, so he never wrote a book about Berlin, even though he pondered many ideas. He did write a number of shorter pieces, as well as the first chapter of a novel, most of it unpublished up to today. He also met one of his future friends in Berlin, Rudolf Lindau, a well-traveled novelist and Bismarck's press secretary. Eventually, the family would move to Vienna and Italy. Twain embarked on a world tour to pay off his debts. He returned to upstate New York in 1900, where he died ten years later.
Where to find Mark Twain online
Where to buy in print
Berlin — The Chicago of Europe
by Mark Twain
Get a preview of the printed book, see the video! In fall 1891, Mark Twain headed for Berlin, the “newest city I have ever seen,”. He wrote a story from Berlin, titled "The Chicago of Europe". It is reproduced here, together with a newspaper feature story by Berlin reporter Max Horwitz on Twain, a preface by Andreas Austilat, and a short video of the book.
Mark Twain’s tag cloud