Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letters from Hawaii

Audio Book 2004
read by McAvoy Layne

McAvoy Layne is a Mark Twain scholar, renowned for his Twain impressions performed throughout the world

This is a collection of letters written by Mark Twain in 1866 when he was sent by the Sacramento Union to the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawaii). He says "this is the loveliest fleet of islands that lie anchored in any ocean".

He describes his journey out, his impressions of Honolulu and Oahu, the local government (still a monarchy at this time), the economy (particularly whaling and sugar cultivation), the role of the Americans and the British in Hawaii, and the role of the missionaries.

His account of the sailors who survived over 40 days at sea in lifeboats and landed on one of the Hawaiian islands is a highlight. Twain's irreverence for all religious beliefs is in good showing as well

His description of horseback riding in the mountains had me laughing out loud

I’m particularly enjoying listening to these letters on a cold and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest … remembering the three years I lived in Hawaii.

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