BOOKS READ

Sarah read about 50 books on the journey!

Descriptions of the books, the authors and Sarah’s impressions.

LIFE OF NAPOLEON

by John S.C. Abbott

1855

READ HERE

                                                                       

Abbott takes a very favorable view of the leader from the French, rather than the British, perspective. 

His view was different from that of the time period, with examples of Napoleon as a good man, who was merciful and did not want war.

Sarah appears to have an advance manuscript of the book, since it was not published until 1855.

 

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Read The Opening Passages
What did Sarah Think?
Napoleon and the Duke d’Enghien
About The Author

QUEECHY

by Elizabeth Wetherell

(Susan Bogert Warner)

1852

READ HERE

                                                                       

A good family story about growing up, facing hardships and meeting them with a kind, forgiving and understanding spirit.

 

 

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Plot Summary
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

MY NOVEL

or

VARIETIES OF ENGLISH LIFE

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

READ HERE

                                                                       

This is one of the lesser known novels of Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

It seems to have similar plotlines as some works by Charles Dickens, a close friend.

 

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author
Famous or Infamous Quotes

MEMOIR OF MARY L. WARE

READ HERE

                                                                       

Memoir of Mary L. Ware

Wife of Henry Ware, Jr.

 

 

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About The Author
What did Sarah Think?

KING ARTHUR

A POEM

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

READ HERE

                                                                       

Verses of King Arthur

by the same author as “My Novel or Varieties of English Life”

 

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Example of the Verse
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

PUNCH

                                                                       

PUNCH was a humorous political magazine

that charted the interests, concerns and frustrations of Britain

from 1841 to 2002

 

 

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What Was “Punch”?
Willie Likes Punch!

LARDNER’S

OUTLINES OF HISTORY

by Professor Dionysius Lardner

READ HERE

                                                                       

Embracing a Concise History of the World, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time: Arranged So that the Whole May be Studied by Periods, Or the History of Any Country May be Read by Itself: with Questions for Examination of Students

 

 

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About the Book
What does Sarah Say?
About The Author
Why Were These Types of Books So Popular?

THE HISTORY OF

THE DECLINE AND FALL

OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

by Edward Gibbon

READ HERE

                                                                       

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

was published in six volumes

between 1776 and 1788

 

 

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About the Work
What Does Sarah Think?
About the Author

A STEP FROM

THE NEW WORLD TO THE OLD

AND BACK AGAIN

by Henry Philip Tappan

READ HERE

                                                                       

The 1st volume is devoted to England, Scotland and Holland;

the 2nd volume the Rhine, Switzerland,  Belgium and France.

These volumes are not made up of extracts from the guide books,

but of the thoughts, impressions, and reflections fresh from the Professor’s own mind.

 

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About the Book
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

ROSE DOUGLAS

or

SKETCHES OF A COUNTRY PARISH

being the

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF

A SCOTCH MINISTER’S DAUGHTER

READ HERE

                                                                       

As an old woman,

Rose Douglas tells the story of her life.

Her upbringing in a small town

A difficult time in the big city

And a return to her roots

 

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Summary of “Rose Douglas”
What Did Sarah Think?
Why Did Sarah Think the Ending was Spiteful?

HISTORY OF

MARIA ANTOINETTE

by John S.C. Abbott

READ HERE

                                                                       

Biography of Marie Antoinette

the last Queen of France before the French Revolution

 

 

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What Does the Author Say?
What did Sarah Think?
What Do Others Say?

THE HISTORY OF

CLEOPATRA

QUEEN OF EGYPT

by Jacob Abbott

READ HERE

                                                                       

The story of Cleopatra is filled with

danger, intrigue, romance and tragedy.

Part of the Makers of History Series

by brothers

Jacob Abbott & John S.C. Abbott

 

 

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Opening Lines by Jacob Abbott
About the “Makers of History” Series
What Did Abraham Lincoln Think of the “Makers of History” Series?
Link to all the biographies in the “Makers of History” Series

PLUTARCH’S LIVES

or

PARALLEL LIVES

by Plutarch

The “Lives”

                                                                       

The Greek philosopher and historian Plutarch

wrote a series of 48 biographies of illustrious Greeks and Romans,

arranged in pairs

to illustrate their moral virtues and vices.

 

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author
Summary of Plutarch’s Lives

ROBINSON CRUSOE

Written in 1719, ROBINSON CRUSOE is often considered to be the first English novel.

It has been one of the most widely published books in history and was wildly popular in Sarah’s time.

There were more than 700 alternative versions, including some children’s versions with pictures and no text.

Perhaps that is the type of book Willie enjoyed on The Sea Serpent.

 

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PLOT
Willie Likes Robinson Crusoe!
About the Author

HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

from the Discovery of the American Continent

by George Bancroft

                                                                       

This work was written over a period of 40 years

and was eventually comprised of 10 volumes

 

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

LAYS OF ANCIENT ROME

by Thomas Babington Macaulay

Fun Fact

                                                                       

A collection of narrative poems (lays).

Four recount heroic episodes from Roman history:

Horatius

The Battle of Lake Regillus

Virginia

The Prophecy of Capys

Two were from more recent events:

Ivry

The Armada

 

 

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Horatius
The Battle of Lake Regillus
Virginia
The Prophecy of Capys
Ivry, A Song of the Hugenots
The Armada, A Fragment

JOURNAL OF THE PILGRIMS

AT PLYMOUTH, IN NEW ENGLAND, IN 1620

by George B. Cheever, D.D.

READ HERE

                                                                       

Section 1: An eye-witness account of the Pilgrim’s first year –

from their safe landing

to the first Thanksgiving.

Section 2: Supplementary material by George Cheever –

“Historical and Local Illustrations of

Principles, Providences and Persons”.

 

 

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About the Book
What did Sarah Think?

ARABIAN NIGHTS

                                                                       

ARABIAN NIGHTS or

ONE THOUSAND and ONE NIGHTS

is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian

stories and folk tales

from the 8th to the 14th century

 

 

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What Is the Premise?
What are the Stories?
What Did Sarah Think?

A KEY TO UNCLE TOM’S CABIN

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

READ HERE

                                                                       

The Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story is Founded

Together with Corroborative Statements Verifying the Truth of the Work

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Why Was It Written?
About the Author
What Did Lincoln Say to Harriet When He Met Her?

THE NIGHT-SIDE OF NATURE

by Catherine Crowe

READ HERE

                                                                       

Spirits of the dead who cannot break their link with the Earth, the unfathomable mysteries of dreams that predict the future, apparitions, doppelgangers, haunted houses and poltergeists –

Catherine Crowe’s book examines these and other cases of supernatural happenings.

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About the Book
About the Author
What Word Did Mrs. Crowe Introduce to the English Language?
What Did Sarah Think?

THE DISCARDED DAUGHTER

OR CHILDREN OF THE ISLE

A TALE OF THE CHESAPEAKE

by Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte (E.D.E.N.) Southworth

CHAPTERS

                                                                       

The old village parson is replaced, and before long love blooms between Alice Chester and the young Reverend Milton Sinclair.

But Colonel Chester blocks their marriage, and grants the hand of his daughter to General Garnet.

 

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About The Author
What did Sarah Think?

THE DAYS OF BRUCE

A Story of Scottish History

by Grace Aguilar

READ HERE

                                                                       

A romantic novel of Scottish history in the days of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland 1306-1329.

A famous warrior, he freed Scotland from English rule during the First War of Scottish Independence.

The Scottish people consider him to be a national hero.

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

THORPE:

A Quiet English Town and Life Therein

by William Mountford

William Mountford was an English Unitarian minister,

who later moved to Boston.

He wrote this book – mostly written in conversational form –

based on life in Hinckley, Leicestshire,

where he had once had a ministry.

 

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

LYELL’S  TRAVELS IN NORTH AMERICA

by Sir Charles Lyell

READ HERE

Sir Charles Lyell, a renowned geologist from Great Britain, and his wife Mary traveled extensively in North America, making 4 visits from 1841 to 1853. Traveling by horseback, stagecoach, train, and steamboat, and staying in hostels to shacks, they collected samples that they later categorized and labeled. He made many observations on the formation of the American landscape.

He then used this data to write two volumes of “Lyell’s Travels in North America” in a travel diary format, incorporating his geological findings while also commenting on social issues of the day.

His books not only supported his theories, they also gave Americans more of an understanding of their geology and gave Britain a positive impression of the New World.

 

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

JAPAN: 

An Account, Geographical and Historical,

from the earliest period at which the islands composing  this empire were known to Europeans, down to the present time,

and the expedition fitted out in the United States, etc.

by Charles MacFarlane

READ HERE

                                                                       

Due to their isolationist policies, Japan was largely unknown to Europeans and Americans.

Interest in Japan peaked in 1852 when Commodore Matthew Perry was given the task to negotiate a treaty to open trade and improve relations in that area.

Although Charles MacFarlane did not visit Japan himself, he compiled information on what was known about Japan and the Japanese people: its geography, history, culture and national character.

Sources include works by 

Engelbert Kampfer (1651-1716), Vasiliy Mikhaylovich Golovnin (1776-1831) and Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828).

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

HORSE-SHOE ROBINSON

A Tale of the Tory Ascendency:

by John Pendleton Kennedy

READ HERE

                                                                       

Historical romance set during the American Revolution in the western mountain areas of Virginia and the Carolinas in the times leading up to the British defeat at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Although a work of fiction, many of the characters, such as the Britsh General Charles Cornwallis, and the battles described were real. The story also shows the conflict within families and between friends, whose loyalties differed.

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What is the Plot?
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

NINEVEH AND ITS REMAINS:

The Gripping Journals of the Man Who Discovered the Buried Assyrian Cities

by Austen Henry Layard

READ HERE

                                                                       

Exciting personal account of the British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard as he describes his adventures as he travels by caravan to remote unfamiiar places in Asia Minor, his discovery of the ancient city of Nineveh, the excavations, and the transfer of vast treasures including bas-reliefs, winged lions, tombs and large stone carvings to the British Museum in London.

 

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About Nineveh
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

THE CONFESSIONS OF FITZ-BOODLE

AND SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF MAJOR GAHAGAN

by William Makepeace Thackeray

READ HERE

                                                                       

“The Confessions of Fitz-Boodle” are reprinted from Fraser’s Magazine 1842 and

“Some Passages in the Life of Major Gahagan” from the London edition of 1841.

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

LITTLE PEDLINGTON and the PEDLINGTONIANS  

A Satire

by John Poole

READ HERE

                                                                       

Paul Pry, an English gentleman, is looking for a place to go to escape London’s summer heat.

Influenced by a quirky guide book, he visits “Little Pedlington”, described as a “very Paradise”.

“Hail, Pedlingtonia, Hail, thou favoured spot! What’s good is found in thee; what’s not, is not.”

Written in typical British satirical humor, the book describes the trials and tribulations of arriving there and the cast of characters he meets along the way and once he arrives.

Go To Journal
Great Description of the Plot
What did Sarah Think?
Why Was The Book So Long?
About The Author

NARRATIVE OF A JOURNEY THROUGH THE UPPER PROVINCES OF INDIA FROM CALCUTTA TO BOMBAY (1824-25)

by Reginald Heber

READ HERE

                                                                       

Reginald Heber served as Bishop of Calcutta from 1823 to 1826. He worked tirelessly to improve the spiritual and living conditions of the Indian people, embarking on first a trip to northern, then southern India. His wife published his journals after his untimely death, due to an arduous work schedule and poor health. Heber has been commemorated in both India and England.

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author
What Happened to Heber’s Widow and Children?
Rose Water and Rose Oil

THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

READ HERE

                                                                       

Hawthorne explores guilt, retribution and atonement as the Pyncheon family faces life in their gloomy, seven gabled home. (americanliterature.com)

Opening Lines
Go To Journal
Great Description of the Plot
What did Sarah Think?
What Inspired the Novel and its Setting?
About The Author

MEMOIR OF JULIA SOPHIA DAVIS

Who Died at Worcester, March 31, 1833

by Julia Sophia Davis

John S.C. Abbott (Ed)

 

Moral tale for young readers, recounting (mostly in her own words) the final days on earth of a young Massachusetts girl, whose cheerful fixation on the coming joys of the afterlife provide, in the words of the editor, “an unusually interesting exhibition of youthful piety.”

An exemplar of the morbid-romantic strain in mid-19th-century American letters.

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What did Sarah Think?

THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

READ HERE

                                                                       

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a member of the Utopian farming community Brook Farm from April to November 1841. Blithedale Romance uses this setting to dramatize the story of four main characters who leave the city for the idealized life on the farm, but their private desires and romantic rivalries create conflict that ultimately leads to tragedy. The story emphasizes the social and political issues of the 19th century. Another example of Dark Romanticism – which tends to draw attention to the unintended consequences and complications that arise from well-intended efforts at social reform.

 

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Who are the Main Characters?
What did Sarah Think?
What Inspired the Novel and its Setting?
Who Inspired the Character of Zenobia?
What Inspired the Ending of the Novel?
About The Author

THE SNOW IMAGE and OTHER TWICE TOLD TALES

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

READ HERE

                                                                       

This was a collection of short stories.

The Snow Image: A Childish Miracle was originally intended for adults and later adapted for children.

A sister and brother, named Violet and Peony, create a snow girl that magically comes to life, but melts when their unimaginative father insists that she is real and brings her inside.

Another example of Dark Romanticism – which tends to draw attention to the unintended consequences and complications that arise from well-intended efforts at social reform.

 

 

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What is the Moral of the Story?
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

ANCIENT AND MODERN INDIA

by William Cooke Taylor

and P J MacKenna

READ HERE

Bayard Taylor lent Sarah a book about the history of India.

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What did Sarah Think?

SWALLOW BARN

or A Sojourn in the Old Dominion

by John Pendleton Kennedy

                                                                       

The book is thought to be more of a story of the manners and customs of Virginian plantation life rather than a traditional novel.

The story focuses on two plantations – Swallow Barn and the Brakes – and a long-running legal battle between the owners.

In the end a courtship between members of the families helps resolve the conflict.

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

by S. Wells Williams

READ HERE

                                                                       

Samuel Wells Williams, American linguist, missionary, author and professor, who served as official interpreter for the Perry expedition to Japan in 1853 and socialized with the Howlands in Macao, wrote this book about the

“Geography, Government, Education, Social Life, Arts, Religion, etc. of the Chinese Empire and its Inhabitants” in the year 1848.

 

 

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What did Sarah Learn about China?
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

THE NILE BOAT

or Glimpses of the Land of Egypt

by W.H. Bartlett

READ HERE

                                                                       

Bartlett summarizes the history of Egypt and then describes his trip through Egypt in 1845 with illustrations, including the Sphynx, the Pyramids, the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings and much more.

 

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What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

CASA GUIDI WINDOWS

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

READ HERE

 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning felt strongly about Italy’s struggle for political autonomy from Austria and quest for unification, known as the Risorgimento. She published the first part of “Casa Guidi Windows” in 1851 about the hopeful early events. This refers to her eye-witness view of history from the windows of her Casa Guidi apartment in Florence, Italy. The Unification was to be a long and painful process, however, and she wrote the second part three years later. Unification did not finally occur until 1861.

 

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EXCERPT
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

READ HERE

 

“Sonnets from the Portuguese”, a collection of 44 love sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning,  was first published in 1850.  Because they are so personal, Elizabeth was hesitant to publish the poems, but her husband Robert Browning thought they were “the best sequence of English-language sonnets since Shakespeare’s time”.  Since Robert Browning called Elizabeth his little “Portuguese” due to her dark complexion and her admiration for the famous Portuguese poet Camoes, they thought the title “Sonnets from the Portuguese” might make them less personal. No one seemed to be fooled by the title.

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NUMBER 33
NUMBER 43
What did Sarah Think?
About The Author

FINAL MEMORIALS OF CHARLES LAMB

by Thomas Noon Talfourd

READ HERE

                                                                       

Charles Lamb wrote many letters in his lifetime addressed to close friends, such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, among others.

They were valued for their “charm, wit and quality” and shedding light on the English literary world in the Romantic era.

 

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Who Was Charles Lamb?
Why Were The Letters Published?
What did Sarah Think?
What is the legacy of “The Lambs”?

JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE OF TWO YEARS AND A HALF IN GREAT BRITAIN

by Jehangir Nowrojee

and Hirjeebhoy Merwanjee

READ HERE

                                                                       

Two Parsee cousins from a master shipbuilding family in Bombay, India traveled to Great Britain 1838 to 1841 to train as naval architects at Chatham Naval Dockyard.

They wrote a journal to document the experience of their travels.

It is a fascinating view into life in England in the early 1840s from the perspective of an outsider.

The account includes their impressions of:

Voyage from Bombay to England, River Thames, Climate, Bridges, Carriages, Railroads, Parks, British Museum, Scientific Institutions, Markets, Hospitals, Houses of Parliament, Fine Arts, Public Buildings, Dockyards, Publications, Customs, Manners, Entertainment: Theaters, Diorama, Zoo, Madame Tussaud Wax Museum

 

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Who is the Lowjee Family?
Dedication to Sir Charles Forbes
Who Was Sir Charles Forbes?
Who Was Their Famous Cousin?
Read About Ardaseer Cursetjee
What did Sarah Think?

AN HISTORICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF FORMOSA,

AN ISLAND SUBJECT TO THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN

by George Psalmanazar