The great author Robert Louis Stevenson received a fateful telegram from his friend Fanny Osbourne in 1879, urging him to leave Edinburgh and join her in San Francisco. The penniless young writer packed his bags and boarded a ship for a long, difficult voyage across the Atlantic, taking detailed notes of the appalling conditions and struggles of his fellow emigrants. When Stevenson arrived in the United States, he immediately boarded a railroad to California, observing the vast country during his transcontinental journey. A marvelously well-written travelogue, The Amateur Emigrant is one of the best accounts of the increasingly popular 19th-century adventure of Europeans sailing to the New World and discovering America.More
Famed Scottish adventure writer Robert Louis Stevenson is given great treatment by Donal Donnelly, whose light Irish brogue carries the listener over the waves and hordes that populate The Amateur Emigrant, Stevenson’s account of his 1879-1880 journey from Glasgow to California to meet his future wife. Stevenson, a son of privilege, uses his travel as an opportunity to study how the lower classes fared on a long trip across the ocean and beyond.
Written during an epoch of mass migration - especially from Europe to America - Stevenson’s is a firsthand account by a fine writer of the difficulties suffered by those less fortunate than himself. This memoir belongs to the same category as other social and adventure odysseys like Democracy in America and Life on the Mississippi.
"It is the best book he ever wrote - a marvelous piece of writing, lakelike in its lucidity and depth, a genuine original." (Jonathan Raban, author of Old Glory)
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