Based on a series of letters Mark Twain wrote from Europe to newspapers in San Francisco and New York as a roving correspondent, The Innocents Abroad (1869) is a burlesque of the sentimental travel books popular in the mid-nineteenth century. Twain's fresh and humorous perspective on hallowed European landmarks lacked reverence for the past-the ancient statues of saints on the Cathedral of Notre Dame are battered and broken-nosed old fellows and tour guides interrupt every dream, every pleasant train of thought, with their tiresome cackling. Equally irreverent about American manners (including his own) as he is about European attitudes, Twain ultimately concludes that, for better or worse, human nature is very much the same all over the world. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.