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The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp by W. H.…

The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp (1908)

by W. H. Davies

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195198,327 (3.58)10
"A vagrant de Tocqueville gives an eloquent, dry-eyed report of his tramping adventures in the violent underworld of late 19th century America and Britain An untutored Welsh tramp who became a popular poet acclaimed by the conservative Georgians and the vanguard Ezra Pound alike, W. H. Davies surprised his contemporaries with the unlikeliest portrait of the artist as a young man ever written. After a delinquent childhood Davies renounced home and apprenticeship and at twenty-two sailed to America--the first of more than a dozen Atlantic crossings, often made by cattle boat. From 1893 to 1899 he was schooled by the hard men of the road, disdaining regular work and subsisting by begging. Crossing Canada to join the "Klondyke" gold rush, Davies fell while hopping a train. His foot was crushed and his leg amputated. "All the wildness had been taken out of me," Davies wrote, "and my adventures after this were not of my own seeking." Praised by Osbert Sitwell for his "primitive splendour and directness," Davies evokes the beauty and frontier violence of turn-of-the-century America in prose that George Bernard Shaw commended to "literary experts for its style alone." The insurgent wanderlust that found an American voice in Jack London and Jack Kerouac is expressed here in a raucous true adventure story by the man Shaw called "the incorrigible Supertramp who wrote this amazing book.""--… (more)
  1. 00
    The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham (Dogberryjr)
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    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (Polaris-)
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    A Man Adrift by Bart Kennedy (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Kennedy pioneered tramping as literary inspiration, Davies more famously known for it.

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A wonderful account of life on the road in America and England. Written by someone with great respect for the gentlemen of the road; Davies traces his wanderings in the 1890's and 1900's as a hobo. These men showed great kindness and charity to one another; often they were beneficiaries of kindness too.
But what a world that has been lost to us; the pride of men and women who will not succumb to dreary work, but who embrace the freedom of the road and the changing seasons. A priceless read. Davies' life ended well with literary recognition, a just reward for someone who did his fair share of hard travellin'.
  ivanfranko | May 14, 2019 |
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I was born thirty-five years ago, in a public house called the Church House, in the town of N-, in the county of M-.
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