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Young Americans Abroad

J.O. Choules

Book Overview: 

It’s 1851 and the Crystal Palace Exhibition is on in England. English American the Reverend Dr. Choules leaves Newport, Rhode Island with three teenaged students – James Robinson, George Vanderbuilt, and Weld French, who are forced to leave the fourth member of their blue-blooded quartet at home – and all four travelers promise to write to “Dear Charley”, Charles Duston, of later fame. The boys meet the Duke of Wellington, travel down the Rhine, and meet many friends along the way. While the letters are filled with some prejudice against the Catholic religion, they are a product of their time – a sometimes ignorant, but often dazzling, period of our history.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .We have been pleased to see the great English game of cricket, which is so universally played by all young men in this country. It seems to us that the boys here have more athletic games than with us. Prisoners' bass seems a favorite boys' amusement, and ninepins, or, as we call it, bowls, are played by all classes freely, and it is not regarded as at all unministerial. We are going to London this week, and shall commence sight-seeing in earnest. Above all, we are to be at the exhibition. When I have seen the lions, I will write you again.

Yours affectionately,


Letter 11.


Dear Charley:—

The story goes that Mr. Webster, when he first arrived in London, ordered the man to drive to the Tower. Certainly we boys all wanted to go there as soon as possible. I do not think that I ever felt quite so touch excitement as I did when we were riding. . . Read More