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by Rupert Brooke

Foreword by Benjamin Markovits

In May 1913 the poet Rupert Brooke embarked on a year-long expedition of North America, visiting the United States, Canada and finally the South Seas. He sent his impressions home in a series of letters, written for publication in the Westminster Gazette, describing his various experiences and reflections: the beauty of arriving, by boat, at night, in New York; the awesome grandeur of the Niagara Falls and the Canadian wildernesses; and ‘the full deliciousness of travelling in an American train by night through new scenery’. He is blunt in his judgements on society, business and cities, playful in his accounts of Anglo-American relations, and finally humbled by the vastness of the landscape in which he finds himself.

This series of vivid, provocative letters, included with Henry James’s foreword to the collection on its publication in 1916, are as much a portrait of the gifted young poet, with all his own prejudices, as they are of two young, optimistic countries at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Publication date: 01/08/2007

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