The British Abroad

The British Abroad : The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century

3.42 (35 ratings by Goodreads)
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Travel for pleasure developed greatly in the 18th century, and here Jeremy Black examines travel on the Continent, the so-called "Grand Tour".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 124.46 x 195.58 x 30.48mm | 439.98g
  • The History Press Ltd
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 64 b&w and 20 colour illustrations, maps, index
  • 0750931698
  • 9780750931694
  • 398,390

About Professor Jeremy Black

Jeremy Black is professor of history at the University of Exeter. His other books include Walpole in Power, The making of modern Britain and War, past, Present and Future,show more

Review Text

Lager louts are nothing new, as even a glance at this classic book shows. When British aristocrats began taking their holidays overseas in the 18th century they quickly acquired a reputation for boorishness and arrogance. 'Johnny Foreigner' was regarded as a lower species, and by golly didn't the Brits let him know it. One aristocrat who visited Venice in 1785 informed its residents that he had never seen 'a rougher, more unpolished people both in countenance and manners in my life'. Having thus endeared himself to them he then assured the Venetians they had 'a vulgarity and ignorance which is particularly disgusting'. But he liked the scenery, apparently. It was the same in Rome and Paris. The Earl of Crawford threw an insolent French marquis into a pond, while an 11-year-old boy travelling with the 8th Duke of Hamilton was encouraged to beat up foreign youngsters to show them who was boss. Jeremy Black details these and other unsavoury events in this book, which was first published in 1992 and quickly became a favourite with scholars for its wealth of first-person accounts. Most of the information is taken from private journals and letters. The travellers wrote home about the magnificent architecture and artworks they had seen, but moaned about everything from people who spoke to them in 'foreign' languages to their chances of catching dysentery. A particular bugbear was the difficulty in getting to and from the Continent. One poor chap set off from Holland at the end of his tour and ended up three weeks later in Norway, his ship's captain having no idea how to navigate through a gale. Though a vivid and often amusing account, the book is written in a scholarly way and is heavily annotated. It will appeal more to serious students of the 18th century than to the casual reader. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

35 ratings
3.42 out of 5 stars
5 14% (5)
4 34% (12)
3 34% (12)
2 14% (5)
1 3% (1)
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