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Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas & Yucatan, Vol 1

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Few explorers have had the experience of uncovering a civilization almost entirely unknown to the world. But Stephen's two expeditions to Mexico and Central America in 1839 and 1841 yielded the first solid information on the culture of the Maya Indians. In this work, and in his other masterpiece Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, he tells the story of his travels to some 50 r ...more
Paperback, 438 pages
Published June 1st 1969 by Dover Publications
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Leonide Martin
Jun 18, 2013 Leonide Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: maya-nonfiction
John Stevens and Frederick Catherwood's travels in the Maya lands became famous as soon as they were published in the mid-1850s. These travel stories intrigued readers with their detailed descriptions of exotic landscapes and enigmatic people. Stevens (US) was the writer and Catherwood (Great Britan) the illustrator. Together they created books of enduring fascination and brought ancient Maya culture to the attention of the world. This spurred an onslaught of adventurers and explorers who wanted ...more
Jul 28, 2009 David is currently reading it
I bought an original printing from the 1800's. It has mold and weird things staining the pages, but it is incredible just to hold.
Michelle Boyer
Dec 14, 2015 Michelle Boyer rated it really liked it
A Fun Travel Narrative

Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan was a joyous read for several reasons, and, admittedly, I read through the entire volume in one sitting. Initially, my first response when reading is to analyze the interaction between the narrator and Indigenous peoples who come into contact with the narrator during the expedition. What I found quite interesting was the fact that the narrator made an explicit point to mention that he himself had no problem with
Nov 27, 2012 Elena rated it liked it
Okay, I lied, I read up to page 283, and put it down about three months ago. Not because I stopped liking it, but because it is not what they call "light reading" and after carrying it around and getting as far as I did in the amount of time I did, I calculated the average page number per day I read and realized it would've taken me at least another month and a half to finish, so I thought "I will take a break, and read something less scholarly, and then pick it up again" but that did not happen ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
Stephens' three books titled "Incidents of Travel," for they all fit together, are a very special work. There is almost too much in them.

They are first: books of travel and adventure throughout Central America. They are second: books of early archaeology. He was the first to investigate and explore and describe, many of the Mayan ruins. His co-worker, I think he called him a draftsman, did very fine drawings. But, third: he was a diplomat working for the American government during the time when
Oct 03, 2008 Michele rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: archaeologists and historians only
I have a love hate relationship with this series of books. Great because of the drawings and descriptions of the archeological sites not to mention the history that is happening at the time. But I can't stand the way Stephens speaks about the people. I know that that's the way people spoke then, but seriously its dated. If you want to know about archaeological sites because you are a tourist look at other books.
John Mertz
Oct 01, 2012 John Mertz rated it really liked it
Someone wrote "for archaeologists and historians only," and for those so inclined, it's worth four if not five stars. The author seems to invite and at times to require the reader to "read between the lines," but even so he treats us to a remarkable adventure story and a fascinating glimpse into our recent and ancient American past.
May 11, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
This book is best left for time travelers who won't wince at racial language or colonialism in all it's forms. If you can handle that, you'll be rewarded with unforgettable descriptions of ruins and people circa 1840. All told through the voice of a dapper barrister type and his trusty male companion and illustrator.
I just got this from Amazon and am having a friend pre-read it. Ange and I may go to Copan so I thought it would be appropriate.
Apr 16, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
"The sports of the puppets were carried on with ventriloquial conversations, in the midst of which I fell asleep."
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John Lloyd Stephens was the son of Benjamin Stephens, one of the "oldest inhabitants" of New-York; his mother was a daughter of Judge Lloyd, of Monmouth county, New Jersey. The future traveller was brought up and educated in the city of New-York. He received his classical education at the schools of Mr. Boyle and Mr. Joseph Nelson, the blind teacher, from th
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