Holograph diary of the author’s trip to France and Italy in a single hand describing the author’s Grand Tour two years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars : The hallmarks of a half pay British officer in the midst of a rather hopeless feeling peace. Clearly an admirer of classical architecture, he makes careful note of remaining classical elements in towns like Avignon and Lyon (“The town of Lyon is by no means handsome. The houses are much crowded and the streets narrow, and dirtier if possible than those of Paris”), and appears very much more affectionate towards what was there, rather than what is. He is nevertheless much struck by the wonders of Florence as he travels towards what his conspicuous classical education clearly regards as the ultimate destination: the city of Rome. In a rather pleasing exhibition of mingled scholarship and military professionalism, he spends a lot of time discussing the historical strategic qualities and shortfalls of many of his stopping points. The journal is erudite, vigorous and detailed.
- Title: Journal of a tour through France and Italy / by an officer stationed with Wellington’s Army of Occupation at St. Pol, Pas de Calais : manuscript.
- Production: France and Italy, 1817.
LWL Mss Vol. 251
Acquired October 2019