My aim on TraveLit is to introduce readers who share my love of travel literature to good books they may not know about. Mostly classics, some new, the books cover travel in its many forms, from exploration to tourism. Along with reviews, TraveLit also brings together provocative, entertaining travel quotations and reader recommendations. I welcome comments on the readings, the reviews, the quotations, or the fascinating enterprise of travel itself.

TraveLit--A blog about travel literature

Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.

Book Review

August 25, 2014

Scrambles Amongst the Alps
By Edward Whymper. Revised and Edited by H. E. G. Tyndale. With additional illustrations and material from the author’s unpublished diaries. With photographs by John Cleare. First published in 1871. Peregrine Smith Books, 1986, 262 pp.

Recent climbing fatalities in the French Alps drew me back to Edward Whymper’s classic work, an account of his many excursions and victories in the Alps and most notably the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 and the expedition’s tragic descent. (more…)

Travel Quotation

August 8, 2014

“A hard journey makes you curiously tender to even your most maddening companions.”
―Peter Fleming, News from Tartary

Book Review

August 2, 2014

Here is New York
By E. B. White. With a New Introduction by Roger Angell. Origally published 1948 in Holiday magazine. First published as a book in 1949. The Little Bookroom, 1999, 56 pp.

Among the many long and sometimes longwinded books about New York, E. B. White’s Here is New York—at 7500 words—occupies an outsize space. Widely admired since it first appeared more than fifty years ago, this slender essay manages to capture the essence of the city—or The City, as it is known to those who live there.

Describing the origins of the work in his introduction, Roger Angell—a New Yorker writer and White’s stepson—explains that it was commissioned in 1948 by Holiday magazine. With travel surging in the postwar years, the publication began assigning travel pieces to topnotch writers, artists, and photographers. The editor asked White, who was then living in Maine, to revisit New York, where he had lived in the twenties. (more…)

Selected Works

Travel Memoir
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism, barbarabeckwith.net.
***
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
Nonfiction
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
Anthology
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”
Kirkus

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