Keystroke Studios Publishing

Mark Twain in India
Observations, Ruminations, and Expositions About the World's Most Extraordinary Country by America's Crustiest Author

With Photographs by William H. Bonney
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Mark Twain embarked on a year-long world tour in 1895, which he hoped would result in a series of sold-out lectures and a popular book, and rescue his estate from the financial ruin that was poised devour it. And of all the countries he explored, India was the one he loved most.

Mark Twain in India is comprised of text excerpted from the India section the resulting travelogue, "Following the Equator." The accompanying photographs by William H. Bonney are each paired with a quotation from Twain and show how, even with the passage of time, even with the staggering changes in environment, technology, and social praxis, so much in India remains eternal. Here are the undying faces of India, in Twain’s words, "repeating and repeating and repeating, century after century, and age after age ... it is this sense that gives to this land power to speak to the spirit and make friends with it."

Years ago, when I first read Mark Twain's "Following the Equator," I was astonished how, chapter after chapter, page after page, Twain described the color-drenched scenery, characters, and events in India just as I had discovered them a century or so later, instantly recognizable even if sometimes morphed into a modern form. Here was a rickshaw athlete waiting outside a hotel, tides of humanity in a great train station, fattened-up priests in battered temples, bamboo geysers, astonishing burdens, spider-legged banyans, 2,000,000 gods. The resulting book is comprised of pullquotes from Twain’s text, alongside photographs that I took over many trips to India between 1984 and 2020.

           - William H. Bonney

Look inside:
Winding a Turban

Train Station


Cold Weather

Mark Twain in India, with photographs by William H. Bonney

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