Bearbeitung: Ilka Würpel, Cover: Sonja Mann

Retrospect of Western Travel

Autor: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876), Erscheinungsjahr: 1838

Neuaufgelegt: 2008
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Themenbereiche
Enthaltene Themen: Reisen, Reisebeschreibung, Amerika
Inhaltsverzeichnis
  1. The Voyage
    1. Part 1. - THE packet–ship in which my passage was taken, the United States , Captain Nathan Holdrege, was to have sailed from Liverpool on Friday the 8th of August, 1834, at eleven o'clock. ...
    2. Part 2. - On Sunday, we crept along in almost a calm, having a glimpse of the dim outline of the Isle of Man in the morning, and being still in sight of Holyhead in the evening. ...
    3. Part 3. - The most generally interesting sight, perhaps, was a sail; and we were never a day without seeing one or more. Sometimes three or four seemed to be peeping at us from the horizon. ...
    4. Part 4. - A calm is a much less disagreeable affair – though it is not common to say so. A dead calm affords a fine opportunity to the gentlemen for writing and reading; and to the ladies, for ...
    5. Part 5. - Before I went on board, I had said that I should like to witness a storm as fierce as we could escape from without fatal damage. Some passenger repeated this wish of mine ...
    6. Part 6. - About this time, a pedlar, who was among the steerage passengers, appeared on deck, with his wares. His pretence was, that some of his silk handkerchiefs and gloves had got slightly ...
    7. Part 7. - Next arrived a boat from the newspaper office of the Courier and Inquirer, whose agent would not hear of dinner, or any other delay, but shouldered his bag of news, ...
  2. First Impressions
    1. Part 1. - THE moment of first landing in a foreign city is commonly spoken of as a perfect realization of forlornness. My entrance upon American life was anything but this. ...
    2. Part 2. - The church that we went to was the Unitarian church in Chambers street . Its regular pastor was absent, and a professional brother from Philadelphia preached. ...
  3. The Hudson
    1. Part 1. - I WENT three times up the Hudson; and if I lived at New York, should be tempted to ascend it three times a–week during the summer. Yet the greater number of ladies on board ...
    2. Part 2. - I saw the well–selected library, consisting of several thousand volumes, the spacious lecture rooms, and students’ apartments. I often wonder whether students are at all aware ...
    3. Part 3. - This evening, a lady and her daughter steamed down from Fishkill with a request to us to spend a few days there; and a clergyman steamed up from New York with an invitation from ...
    4. Part 4. - Dr. Hosack had a good library, – I believe, one of the best private libraries in the country; some good pictures, and botanical and mineralogical cabinets of value. ...
    Pine Orchard House
    Weddings
    High Road Travelling
    Fort Erie
    Niagara
    Priestley
    First Sight of Slavery
    Life at Washington
    The Capitol
    Mount Vernon
Harriet Martineau’s vivid account of her travels to the USA in 1834-1836 make it easy for the reader to imagine the times in which she lived. Her detailed descriptions of the landscape and the historical events and figures of the day make them come to life in the mind’s eye. In this first volume, she tells about her sea voyage, her visit to New York City, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls, as well as to Washington D.C. and the leading politicians under President Jackson. A writer, sociologist and highly committed witness of her time, Harriet Martineau relates, among other things, her discussions with convicts about their chances of rehabilitation and the growing conflict over the issue of slavery.


Harriet Martineau, Writer, Translator,
Philosopher, Socialist, Economist.

Harriet Martineau was born in 1802 in Norwich, England. She was given a good education for a woman of her day and began writing professionally in 1822, starting as a newspaper reporter. She became a successful writer and was able to finance a two–year journey to the USA from 1834 to 1836. She described the first part of her journey in Volume 1 of Retrospect of Western Travel. Rejecting all prejudices, she had the courage to rely on her own experience and express unpopular opinions. For example, she credited her cure from a long and severe illness in 1845 to Mesmerism, an unrecognized method of alternative medicine which she defended from then on. She criticized religious dogmatism after having traveled to Egypt and Palestine. She supported the abolitionist movement and fought for women’s rights until her death in 1876.