Mark Twain’s opinions of Hawaii have become some of his many famous quotations. What did he say and when?
Mark Twain (1835-1910) loved Hawaii. He spent four months exploring the Hawaiian islands in 1866, as a reporter for the Sacramento Union newspaper. His 25 letters about the Sandwich Islands (as he called Hawaii) were most Americans’ first information about Hawaii, and were part of the beginning of Twain’s fame as a writer.
You can read Twain’s writings about Hawaii in his book Roughing It in the Sandwich Islands, available in paperback on Amazon, by clicking the link in this paragraph.
Twain called Hawaii “The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” Like me, he often thought about Hawaii when he was not there. That’s why my favorite Mark Twain quote about Hawaii is this one:
“No alien land in all the world has any deep strong charm for me but that one, no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done. Other things leave me, but it abides; other things change, but it remains the same. For me the balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surfbeat is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud wrack; I can feel the spirit of its wildland solitudes, I can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.”