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AGATHA! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketch Book from her 1912 European Tour by Susan Snow Lukesh

AGATHA! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketch Book from her 1912 European Tour

by Susan Snow Lukesh

134 pages
Agatha! presents a sketch book developed during Agatha’s tour of Europe with three companions in 1912. It includes her original images and cryptic comments, discussions of the comments, the people she met as well as traveling in the early 20th c.

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Category: Travel:Travelogues
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About the Book

If you like unusual travel books, then you’ll enjoy Susan Snow Lukesh's study of her great aunt Agatha Snow's sketch book developed during her 3-month tour of Europe with three companions in 1912. In Agatha! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketch Book from her 1912 EuropeanTour,  Lukesh presents and explores the original images and brief comments, pulling threads to explore what the often-cryptic comments mean. Agatha! also explores the people she and her friends met and briefly traveled with, and what happened to the various players in this trip after it ended as the world moved into the first World War and even beyond. Although their steam ship left New York harbor barely two days after the Titanic sank and before the survivors arrived, no recorded comments from the passage to Europe mention the tragedy.

Contemporary postcards and one early 19th c print complement Agatha's drawings and show how close her small sketches came to the actual sites she portrayed. The small sketch book, not even four by six inches, presents images—some with incredible detail that is best seen when the original image is enlarged, causing a reader to shake his or her head and wonder how she did it. Her favorite subjects are people and as many folks who travel know part of the fascination and interest in travel is encountering people who are quite different from those we know at home. And certainly, Agatha's images, in fact caricatures, of people capture and convey her clear fascination with the people she encountered. 

Agatha! supplements Agatha's comments and descriptions with diary entries and letters sent home by other contemporary accounts further enriching what may first appear as a meager offering, if judged only by size. Agatha’s sketch book, and the exploration of it, offer a snapshot of life in the early 1900s during the Edwardian era—where and how folks traveled, what travelers discussed, what they did, and what they ate. Lukesh also traveled on a couple occasions to some of the very places that Agatha and companions visited. On one occasion, she found herself traveling in one of the railway cars and on the very line—both now under restoration—that Agatha and companions traveled in England. Also, in England, she traveled to see Warwick where Agatha had seen and drawn two wonderful sketches of men on the streets of that fine historic town.

Agatha! not only presents the original sketches and brief comments from over 100 years ago, but includes solutions to puzzles that Agatha left us, such as what is the story of Mrs. Campbell and the Cockroaches in the Cabin, what is A.B.C., and what are horse-tail guards? Agatha!fulfills a reader's need to know what happened to the folks Agatha met and now the readers meet on the trip—both those on the ship passages to and from Europe and those met along the way in Europe. As much as possible, using public records, the lives of some of them after the trip, through World War 1 and the years after, are traced, as are the fates of the ships that carried the travelers. Not every puzzle has been solved, leaving some for readers, but many are, with great thanks to internet resources these days and Lukesh's ability to use public records for genealogical purposes and answers.

A final bonus in Agatha! For decades Lukesh excavated and studied the things left behind by prehistoric folks in Southern Italy and Sicily.  Today her attention has turned to things left behind by her ancestors.  From a gold bracelet she wears, to an 1860s photo album, and to this sketch book of her great aunt Agatha. This exploration of a tour by four women in their 20s over 100 years ago gives insight on restoring pieces of family history based on things left behind, offering a template for organizing similar genealogy research.


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About the Author
Susan Snow Lukesh Lukesh learned of ancestors from New Bedford, Massachusetts, studied a family tree with lineages beginning in the early seventeenth century and was entrusted with a gold bracelet—her third great grandmother’s fiftieth wedding anniversary gift. Ultimately, she excavated sites of the early Mediterranean world, another appreciation of the past.



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