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

Agatha! Reviews

Selected reviews for Susan Snow Lukesh’s Agatha! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketch Book from her 1912 European Tour

Anyone interested in tracing their ancestry and unearthing unknown discoveries will adore this book. The author knew of her great aunt for many years, but it is only when she found a book of sketches that served as a journal of her aunt’s three-month tour of Europe, a hundred years prior, that the author began to unravel the intricacies of thoughts and impressions that her Aunt Agatha traced in her travels. Unlike a written journal, Agatha’s sketches contain some mystery, much wit and humor, and a delicate eye for what she beholds and shares with the reader. The overall effect is enthralling. A classical archeologist, Susan Lukesh provides us with clues to the places visited and the impressions of the traveler. Lukesh deepens our understanding of what it may have been like for a woman traveling with female friends over a hundred years ago and the courage it took to do so. 

—Jeanne Fuchs Feb 2021

Agatha! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketchbook from her 1912 European Tour is a joy to read, especially during the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the covid-19 pandemic. It is the author’s investigative account of her great aunt’s 3-month sojourn based on the detailed drawings, notes, and comments recorded by young Agatha in a tiny, 3 5/8 x 5 3/4-inch sketchbook that she carried on the trip and that has remained in the family’s archive.… When the friends set out of New York harbor on a passenger ship, Agatha began composing her visual diary, with added notes and commentary to accompany the sketches of fellow travelers—men, women, children—engaged in shipboard antics, cafe lounging, and leisure activities at sea and on land, all the size of thumbnail sketches!, until they returned home by ship 3 months later. It seems remarkable that she could have done this on such a minuscule scale! Thankfully, for the reader, the author provides enlarged reproductions of some of the tiny pages … As for the thumbnail sketches themselves, fashionable Edwardian ladies often wore long necklaces with magnifying glasses around their necks. It makes one wonder if, perhaps, besides her sketchbook and drawing tools, Agatha made sure to always wear a bejeweled magnifier on this eventful trip! Delightful!

—Patricia, Philadelphia, PA Feb 2021

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