Travels Through France and Italy

Travels Through France and Italy

3.55 (78 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1763, Tobias Smollett set sail from Folkestone to Boulogne. He would not return to England for two years, during which time he travelled extensively - and in a notoriously ill-tempered fashion - through much of France and Italy. Smollett, seemed 'determined to be pleased with nothing' and was 'sardonic, satirical and decidedly gloomy'. In Paris, everything had 'shrunk' and was twice as expensive as his last visit. Versailles was a 'dismal habitation'. In Rome, he felt that Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" resembled a mob; his inn in San Remo was more miserable than the worst alehouse in England and in Lerici he was sure he would be poisoned. And yet, there were places where even Smollett could not fail to be captivated. The Maison Carree in Nimes was 'ravishingly beautiful', Nice was enchanting and the port of Genoa 'dazzling'. His obvious pleasure in the landscapes through which he passed, his keen eye for colourful, telling details and the fact that his letters appear virtually as they were written beautifully illuminate both Smollett's character and the places he visited.
Funny, honest and full of subtle magic, "Travels through France and Italy" is a rare and revealing portrait of 18th century Europe at a time when Marie Antoinette had just become queen of all France, the Grand Tour was in its infancy and Cannes was a quiet fishing village.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • Tauris Parke Paperbacks
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 184885305X
  • 9781848853058
  • 456,635

Review quote

'Today, the French Riviera welcomes ten million visitors a year. Tobias Smollett was one of the first of them, and his Travels through France and Italy marked the beginning of the region's metamorphosis - from diversion to destination.' - Ted Jones; 'It is the work of a scholar, an observer of human nature, and a satirist of no mean order. It gives us characteristic social vignettes, portraits of the road of an unsurpassed freshness and clearness. It contains some historical and geographical observations worthy of one of the shrewdest and most sagacious publicists of the day.' - Thomas Seccombe, in the original introduction to Travels through France and Italy
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About Tobias Smollett

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) was a Scottish author best known for his novels, The Adventures of Roderick Random and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, following which he became a major literary figure associated with the likes of David Garrick, Laurence Sterne, Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson. In 1755 he published the standard translation of Cervantes' Don Quixote and in 1756, he became editor of The Critical Review. His major non-fiction work was A Complete History of England.
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Rating details

78 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 24% (19)
4 28% (22)
3 29% (23)
2 14% (11)
1 4% (3)
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