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Synopsis

Following the Equator (American English title) or More Tramps Abroad (English title) is a non-fiction travelogue published by American author Mark Twain in 1897.

 

Following The Equator is an account of Mark Twain's round-the-world lecture tour of 1895/96. The book opens in Paris, from which Twain sets out on his journey. In New York, his wife, Olivia, and daughter Clara decide to continue on the tour with Twain. The family sets out from New York accompanied by Major Pond, the tour manager for the North American leg. Following a stop in British Columbia, the travelers set sail on the Pacific Ocean.

After avoiding Hawaii due to a cholera epidemic, the ship lands at Suva, part of the Fiji Islands. After a short stay, Twain moves on to Australia, with his first stop in Sydney. Here he spends considerable space telling about Australian history, society, and people. A stop in Wagga-Wagga brings up the story of the Tichborne Claimant. In Melbourne, Twain relates the story of how Olivia once received a letter in which is discussed Twain's death on a lecture tour in Australia. The author makes numerous stops in mining regions of Australia, including Stawell, Ballarat, and Bendigo. In the latter stop, Twain encounters Mr. Blank, the sole member of the Mark Twain Club, of Corrigan Castle, Ireland. He is also the man who wrote the letter to Olivia about Twain's death.

The travelers next stop briefly at Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, and then move on to several towns in New Zealand. In Nelson, the group learns of the Maungatapu Murders, the sole event of historical importance to occur in the town. After a quick stop in Auckland, the capital, Twain visits Wanganui, where the Maori people and culture are discussed. The partyreturns to Australia to spend Christmas in Melbourne and New Year's at Adelaide, before setting sail for Ceylon, India.

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