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An Inland Voyage

Robert Louis Stevenson

Book Overview: 

As a young man, Stevenson wished to be financially independent and began his literary career by writing travelogues. This is his first published work, written at a time when travel for pleasure was still a rarity. He and a friend traveled by canoe through France and Belgium and he relates how they were thrown in jail, mistaken for traveling salesmen and became embroiled in gypsy life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .eft upon my mind after a great deal of talk; and very youthful, pleasant, natural, and patriotic it seems to me to be—‘We have gained all races, except those where we were cheated by the French.’

‘You must leave all your wet things to be dried.’

‘O! entre frères!  In any boat-house in England we should find the same.’  (I cordially hope they might.)

‘En Angleterre, vous employez des sliding-seats, n’est-ce pas?’

‘We are all employed in commerce during the day; but in the evening, voyez-vous, nous sommes sérieux.’

These were the words.  They were all employed over the frivolous mercantile concerns of Belgium during the day; but in the evening they found some hours for the serious concerns of life.  I may have a wrong idea of wisdom, but I think that was a very wise remark.  People connected with literature and philosophy are bu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is Stevenson's first published book and a charming one. When he was writing (1876) there doesn't seem to have been a distinct travel-book genre. You sense he's feeling his way. But with confidence. I've read that he wrote these early travel books in order to make money and establish an independ

It's been eight years since I read this book but I wrote something for my blog that might serve (obliquely) as a review:


A swimmer is literally out of his element. Human beings were not meant to live underwater. Nor were we meant to live on the water, and perhaps that’s why I get a feeling when

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), est parfois considéré comme un écrivain de récits d’aventures ou fantastiques pour les adolescents. Mais son œuvre représente plus que cela.
Ses nouvelles et ses romans font preuve d’une excellente narration. Il exploite tous les ressorts du récit et possède égalem

One fine day, Robert Louis Stevenson, at the time a bohemian wanderer with a gift of poetic observation and not quite the imaginative and profound storyteller that he would turn out to be eventually, and his friend Sir Walter Grindlay Simpson took out their canoes for a long and winding voyage throu

This is one of my favorite books and I have read it several times. This said, I have this one good talent, which is to be able to put a novel in its historical period, and enjoy it as is. Most people will find it outdated, when I thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of a book about idle traveling and quie

When I picked this up, I was expecting a travel book, and that is what I got in every sense of the word. You will probably not learn much about the geographical attractions that the "Cigarette" and the "Arethusa" crossed in their journey downriver, but you will certainly learn much about people, abo

J'ai été plutôt déçue par la traduction du livre, très scolaire, alors qu'il s'agit d'un récit de voyage. Certains moments d'extase ne décollent pas à cause de cela. L'auteur apparaît comme une personne qui ne veut pas rendre accessible son récit au plus grand nombre, et je me demande si c'est aussi

A bordo del Arethusa, Robert Louis Stevenson. Navegando a su lado, el Cigarette. Jóvenes, libres de preocupaciones y con hambre de aventuras, dos amigos se adentran en el continente siguiendo el curso del río Oise a su paso por tierras belgas y francesas. Como los verdaderos viajes, el suyo reproduc

A Journey through Time

The first book of Stevenson is a kind of guide to an adventure (or to a bet?): with a friend, two canoes (the Cigarette and the Arethusa, which also become the nicknames of the two travelers), and a note-book, through rivers and canals, in Belgium and France, in 1876.
There are

I was hopeful I would love this book about canoeing through France and Belgium in 1876, though I was familiar with only one line—"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune and misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm."—which I have been writi

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