In 1878 Robert Louis Stevenson escaped from his numerous troubles-poor health, tormented love, inadequate funds-by embarking on a journey through the Civennes in France, accompanied by Modestine, a rather single-minded donkey. The notebook Stevenson kept during this time became Travels with a Donkey in the Civennes, a highly entertaining account of the French and their country. The Amateur Emigrant describes his travels to and around America: the crowded weeks in steerage, the cross-country train journey. Filled with sharp-eyed observations, it brilliantly conveys Stevenson's perceptions of America and the Americans. Together, these writings reveal as much about the traveler as the places he travels to.