The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp — W. H. Davies

My school house master, Peter Forest, who was also my maths teacher, one day stated in front of the whole class that i’d either grow up to be the next Einstein or a tramp, and that he feared it would most probably be the latter.   Suffice it to say, i never did get around to doing that degree in theoretical physics.

So when i found this book on Amazon it reminded me of Peter Forest and his condemnation of my future and was certainly instrumental in my purchase.   I wasn’t disappointed, so thanks Peter.

The strange thing was the timing, as i let the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ always select my next book from ‘The Pile’ and it’s only been a couple of books since i finished ‘Into The Wild’, about Chris McCandless, AKA, Alexander Supertramp.   This book certainly flows nicely on from that.   It makes me wonder if Chris had actually read this amongst all the other books mentioned in his story.

William covers his adventures as a tramp during the late 1800’s, where he ventures far and wide.   The funniest thing for me was that he was a trustifarian.   I had no idea that these creatures existed back in the 1800, but it’s certainly true in William’s case, and he even admits it in the book.

When his grandmother died, instead of willing him her property, which she knew he would squander rather quickly, she instead put it into trust from which he was given an allowance.   So off he goes to America, tramping around, living on hand outs and goodwill, while all the time his weekly allowance from his trust fund is being saved up for his return.   And he can return at any time, by working cattle ships from Baltimore, and even getting paid while doing so.

Even later on when he gets back the England, he continues to drop out into his tramping lifestyle while his trust fund rebuilds his bank account in order to fund his next adventure.   I wonder if William was the original trustifarian, were there others before him?

Without a doubt, a very good inside look into the mind and lifestyle of the typical trustifarian.   But, on top of that, it’s a very revealing look into this odd sub-culture of the underclass of the age and the lifestyles they lead and how they managed to support themselves.   Although, one can’t really get away from realising that most of these people were simply down where they were due to alcoholism, with every opportunity of spending any penny they managed to accrue on getting drunk always eagerly taken — no, nothing much changes.

Anyways, an enlightening piece of history of the Victorian age seen from a very different view point to the normal history books and biographies.

William’s Page

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Complete Works of Mark Twain – Mark Twain

Now i have the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ picking out my next book i might actually get around to reading some of this.

The Novels…

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Prince and the Pauper
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
The American Claimant
Tom Sawyer Abroud
Pudd’nhead Wilson
Tom Sawyer, Detective
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
A Horse’s Tale
The Mysterious Stranger

The Short Stories…

Chronological List of Short Stories
Alphabetical List of Short Stories
Mark Twain’s Library of Humor

The Essays and Satires…

List of Twain’s Essays and Satires

The Travel Writing…

The Innocents Abroud
Roughing It
A Tramp Abroad
Following the Equator
Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

The Non-Fiction…

Old Times on the Mississippi
Life on the Mississippi
Christian Science
Queen Victoria’s Jubilee
My Platonic Sweetheart
Editorial Wild Oats

The Letters…

The Complete Letters of Mark Twain

The Speeches…

The Complete Speeches

The Criticism…

Mark Twain by Archibald Henderson
Mark Twain by Brander Matthews
The Americans by David Christie Murray
Mark Twain by Frederick Waddy
New York Times Articles

The Biographies…

Chapters from my Autobiography by Mark Twain
My Mark Twain by William Dean Howells
Mark Twain a Biography by Albert Bigelow Paine
The Boy’s Life of Mark Twain by Albert Bigelow Paine

Mark’s Page

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