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The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  325 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
When Richard Halliburton graduated from college, he chose adventure over a career, traveling the world with almost no money. The Royal Road to Romance chronicles what happened as a result, from a breakthrough Matterhorn ascent to being jailed for taking forbidden pictures on Gibraltar. "One of the most fascinating books of its kind ever written." - Detroit News
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 24th 2000 by Travelers' Tales (first published 1925)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,129)
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Nov 22, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: walks, 1920s
Richard Halliburton, the grandaddy of adventure tourism, left Princeton in the early 1920s to do the world. With hardly a penny to his name he tramped, mooched, and often stole his way from New Jersey to Europe, then Egypt, India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Along the way he climbed the Matterhorn, was jailed in Gibraltar, swam the Nile, hunted tigers in Bengal, trekked to Leh, hacked his way through Malaysian jungles, reposed in Bali, lost his clothes to Chinese pirates, and scaled Fujiyama in ...more
This is an incredible book that could make the most stable homebody want to store all their junk and take a long trip. When I turned 16 I didn't know what I wanted for my birthday so I asked all of my relatives to give me a copy of of their favorite book from when they were 16- and the only person that delivered was my grandmother who gave me this book. Halliburton inspired in her a love of travel and adventure that never faded- and it's done the same for me. From sneaking back into the Taj Maha ...more
John Alt
Jun 05, 2013 John Alt rated it really liked it
When I think of Richard Halliburton, I think of a poem, "The Truly Great," by Stephen Spender. Spender writes of those,

. . . who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they traveled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.

Halliburton traveled a short while toward the sun before his untimely death at 39, and the air was vivid with his life, leaving on earth his books, a testament to his honor. I think of him
Josh Kienzle
Apr 11, 2007 Josh Kienzle rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to rediscover adventure
This is amazing book about the beauty of adventure. I am a huge traveler and this book inspires that part of me!
Brad Blakey
Sep 03, 2011 Brad Blakey rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brad by: Ben B.
This guy travelled around the world immediately following his graduation from Princeton, logging over 40,000 miles by ship, train and bicycle, and living only on the money he made along the way publishing his writing. What amazes me is that he accomplished this in the 1920's, prior to the days of a real commercial tourism/travel industry.

I think part of what makes his stories good - or more interesting than the occurances of ordinary tourist - is that he would put himself "in harms way" for the
Nov 25, 2008 Christopher rated it liked it

At first I got a little bored of this book. That's probably why it took me three or four months to read but that is neither here nor there. What is of significance is that I picked it up last week and finished reading the 2'nd half of the book. And I finished it in enjoyment.
My complaint against the beginning of "Royal Road to Romance" was that Halliburton’s lofty speech got to me, in an annoying way. I found his writing to be overdone yet I kept reading because although he can give too many de
Nov 29, 2015 Elinor rated it really liked it
Youthful exuberance and a reckless disregard for his own life led the author, at the tender age of 23, to circumnavigate the globe in the most difficult ways possible. Not for him was the easy path -- he invariably chose the most challenging, and often illegal route. A recent graduate of Princeton, he supported himself by sending travel stories back to American newspapers, which in those days actually paid freelancers. It was so interesting to read about his adventures, and his colourful observa ...more
Mar 06, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it
One of the best travelogues I have read. This book should be standard reading when it comes to the travelogue genre. From breaking into the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra, being arrested in Gibraltar you cant help but be captivated by Haliburton's adventure.
Jan 11, 2009 Carel rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorites! Halliburton made his living by LIVING and then writing about all his fantastic adventures. He did what I can only dream about. He was a fun character; positive & happy and relays this in his writings.
Jan 06, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
A classic of adventure travel. You won't realize just how much Halliburton defined the modern adventure traveller. He is the forefather of an industry.
Feb 16, 2008 CarlyQ rated it it was amazing
I read this book every year! It reminds me that there is a big world out there to explore and that where there is a will there is a way.
Nov 02, 2012 Catdogtamara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when I was in high school and it is just as enjoyable now!
Enchanting! Richard Halliburton has chutzpah. His mischievousness is in a league with Tom Sawyer. I understand some view him as conceited; I believe it's simply youthful enthusiasm being misinterpreted.

Nowadays, nobody would even remotely consider trying some of the things he tried on his adventures. Some of his feats were ridiculous in their conception, yet he managed them all the same. It's very difficult to discuss without spoilers. But I urge you to try a chapter or two, just to see if it g
Feb 11, 2015 Kristin rated it it was amazing
reading with Grace for school
Mar 14, 2016 Amber rated it liked it
I might say 2.5 stars. It was better than just "okay," but I didn't "like" it wholeheartedly, either. A lot of the accounts of what Halliburton did and the places he saw are pretty interesting, though some I had moral objections to, and some chapters weren't that interesting to me. The book is good for gaining a better understanding of the places discussed, as well as the time period (written 1925).

While I appreciate Richard Halliburton's writing and stories in some ways, he isn't my favorite ch
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
After graduating from Princeton in the 1920s, young Richard Halliburton only had one plan: see the world. With very little in his knapsack, and usually even less in his wallet, he made his way across the ocean, traversing exotic locations all over Europe and Asia, following whims and climbing mountains and seeing landmarks and living life.

When my grandpa was a POW there were two books available to him: the Bible and The Royal Road to Romance. Often has this book been praised among those in my fa
Phillip Blansett sr
Oct 11, 2014 Phillip Blansett sr rated it it was amazing
I first read this book in the summer of my 11th year. Fort Worth, Texas was in the throes of a Polio epidemic. Every day concluded with an accounting of classmates who had entered the hospital ... How many had died ... How many were confined to a "Steel Lung". Our only tool for combatting it was to stay inside from 11am to 4pm and to avoid congregating in crowds. Halliburton was not about romance, at least not in his book. But he was the consummate adventurer. And he lit my fire of adventure and ...more
Mar 25, 2015 Artemis rated it it was amazing
I read this book after I read Wild by Sheryl ..something. Forgot her last name, it was a bad book! anyways..
I couldn't stop reading this book. I'm so pleased and amazed by this man's life. One day I wish to find a companion of his kind, and conquer the world. I love his passion for mythology in his writing too. I'm going to sleep with this book like with a teddy bear, dreaming of me and Richard being voyagers and rascals together
Michael Bafford
Mar 22, 2016 Michael Bafford rated it it was ok
This was a fun romp around the world with an incorrigible adventurer. Life was possibly simpler then, but still! To come to the Matterhorn without equipment or expertise - or money and borrow the one and gain the other while climbing and ignore the third.

A good deal of the charm in the book was the author's self-imposed poverty. And his trepidation and apparent wondrous physic. He had luck, mostly good but even bad and friends in high places nearly everywhere he went but still! Slogging through
Jan 04, 2015 Preston rated it liked it
This book is about a man from the US who travels to Asia so he can have a story for his newspaper and for the thrill of adventure. Along the way he encounters many perils such as pirates, mountains and many others. When reading this book I think about how different other cultures are from us. How they treat funerals how they get by how they eat and others.
Jan 15, 2014 Mitch rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, favorites
For backpackers with an eye for adventure in exotic locales, this is a real find. Richard is largely forgotten today, but he was very popular decades ago and no wonder- he presents the world from an interesting perspective. He traveled it with very little money and financed himself by selling enthusiastic accounts of his adventures.

This is his first book and it covers a globe-spanning two year period right after he graduated from Princeton. It's a good representative of his overall work.

Jun 22, 2016 T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure-travel
While it's hard to fathom that EVERYTHING in this adventure is real, it's entertaining and especially interesting to read his impressions, recorded in the early 1900s, of places we've been. I wish it had included pictures!
Jan 10, 2010 Rene rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Halliburton's round-the-world travels were fun to read--most of the time. I admit to skimming a few sections. I was impressed with his ingenuity in the face of have only pennies in his pocket most of the time--although, I wasn't impressed with some of his less than honorable ways of traveling from place to place every once in a while. I loved how he made it to out-of-the way places and how he got to know so many people. His writing is often delightful and one can certainly catch the enthusiasm a ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Tom rated it liked it
This guy was crazy. We all wish we had the cajones to just take off without any money and go on crazy adventures. So it's a lot of fun to read about his crazy stunts. But the second half of the book dragged for me. I found myself racing through the pages just to get to the end. And the more tired he became, the more mean hearted he became. While I can't judge him by 2012 standards, I still felt like it was cruel to call the event of pirates attacking the ship as a jolly fun adventure after half ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, history
A wonderful adventure of the travels of a Memphian back in the very early days of the 20th century.
Leslie  Golden
Nov 30, 2013 Leslie Golden rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-re-read
The gift of Richard Halliburton was not to lure readers into seeking those "far-away" places he wrote about with such conviction. The charm in his storytelling took a reader along on his adventures and gives them a perspective the average traveler cannot perceive. Many of us can "see" mountains; Halliburton climbed them. Hundreds of thousands of people tour the Taj Mahal every year but in the company of Halliburton, we swim in its forbidden pools, visible only to the moonlight.
Jan 05, 2008 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: long-ago
Everyone needs to read at least one Richard Halliburton book. I love his writing and adventures. Halliburton was an explorer in the 20s and 30s, he died while on one of his travels. He's a mix of Indiana Jones and F. Scott Fitzgereld. Reading his books you get a taste of a time long gone, when the world was not as small as it is now. Every new continent, city, town and mountain held new wonders and only the bravest would explore.
Jun 21, 2015 Halli rated it really liked it
My parents may have taken my name from a John Wayne movie, but I let them know that the spelling is from this guy. RH is crazy, and if half of his exploits are true he would definitely be the friend that would push you out of your comfort zone rather than ask you to. Gumption he had in spades and while he's another great we lost entirely too soon, he warrants a read to be sure.
Eli Lesser
Mar 29, 2008 Eli Lesser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
This the ultimate travelogue. I found this book in a random article I read in that free magazine they give you on an airplane, like 15 years ago. The book was long out of print (note as you can see the good folks at National Geo have re-released it). It tells an amazing story of traveling all the way around the world!
Nov 14, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
A dear friend recommended this just before he died...said that his elementary school teacher had suggested he read it as a youngster, and that idea steered him to a life of travel and adventure.
The book is delightful, a bit of purple prose from days gone by.
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Travelogue from late 1800s early 1900s [s] 5 60 Mar 19, 2014 06:05PM  
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Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Ho ...more
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