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Travels through France and Italy

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"Traduced by malice, persecuted by fiction, abandoned by false patrons, and overwhelmed by the sense of a domestic calamity," Tobias Smollett set off on a journey through France and Italy to relieve his despair. While there, he wrote regularly to his friends, who had asked him to keep records of inns, prices, and methods of transport should they wish to make the tour themselves someday. Smollett more than obliged them, and the result is this fascinating, wholeheartedly personal account of places and people in France and Italy. In one of the
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Travels Through France and Italy (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Overview

"Traduced by malice, persecuted by fiction, abandoned by false patrons, and overwhelmed by the sense of a domestic calamity," Tobias Smollett set off on a journey through France and Italy to relieve his despair. While there, he wrote regularly to his friends, who had asked him to keep records of inns, prices, and methods of transport should they wish to make the tour themselves someday. Smollett more than obliged them, and the result is this fascinating, wholeheartedly personal account of places and people in France and Italy. In one of the letters, Smollett makes his famous forecast that France would be in trouble as soon as a weak monarch came to power; in another he recommends the Roman Campania be drained and cultivated - a recommendation that was carried out in the Pontine Marshes in 1932-34. But Smollett is at his best when describing the inns and housekeepers, postilions and travelers. Travels through France and Italy is a landmark work in travel literature. Full of prejudice, grousing, sharp observation, and caustic satire, it is the first travel book in modern literature to go beyond the simple conveyance of information to reflect the writer's state of mind.

Edited by Frank Felsenstein (The World's Classics).

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Editorial Reviews

Al Coppola John Jay College
"Acrimonious and Ill-humored, acutely observed and shrewdly expressed, behold the notorious Travels of Tobias Smollett. A less sentimental traveler the world has hardly seen, whose life and opinions during an eighteen-month ramble through France and Italy stand confessed on the page in all the majesty of his spleen and intellect. The Travels are here rescued from the long shade cast upon them by Laurence Sterne, who sarcastically dismissed them as the philistine grousing of 'Smelfungus.' Editor Frank Felsenstein, who produced this classroom-ready volume for Broadview based on his definitive Oxford edition, has done a masterful job of relocating Smollett's work in its contemporary contexts and critical tradition. With judicious notes, and a truly learned set of appendices that abridge two and a half centuries of reviews and responses, Felsenstein has brought into sharp focus the polarizing writer whose unstinting account of a less-than-grand tour is here made relevant and relatable to contemporary students of eighteenth-century life."
Robert Folkenflik
"Frank Felsenstein has updated and enriched for the twenty-first century his excellent Oxford edition of Tobias Smollett's irascibly entertaining Travels. Although Laurence Sterne, another great novelist and satirist, portrayed Smollett as the bad-tempered Smelfungus in his Sentimental Journey, published two years later, these non-fictional letters have some of the joys of Smollett's fictional creation, the splenetic Matt Bramble, in his greatest novel, Humphry Clinker. The fresh material on offer here includes eighteenth- and nineteenth-century reader reception, select relevant passages from Smollett's correspondence, art criticism of the time, information about the grand tour, and even the advertisement of a bookseller who sold Smollett's volume to tourists on their way to France. Felsenstein's Introduction and annotation are written with a high order of intelligence, clarity, and knowledge. This will be a welcome edition for students and the general reader."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198126119
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: World's Classics Paperback Series
  • Pages: 590
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Felsenstein is Reed D. Voran Honors Distinguished Professor in Humanities and Professor of English at Ball State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Tobias Smollett: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Travels through France and Italy
Appendix A: Selections from Smollett’s Correspondence
1. To Richard Smith, Esq. (8 May 1763)
2. To Dr. William Hunter (14 June 1763)
3. To Dr. William Hunter (11 July 1763)
4. To Francis Seymour Conway (11 July 1763)
5. List of books prepared by Smollett and sent with the letter to Lord Hertford
6. To Alexander Reid (3 August 1763)
7. To Dr. William Hunter (11 August 1763)
8. To Dr. William Hunter (6 February 1764)
9. To John Moore (15 July 1765)
10. To John Moore (13 November 1765)
Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews
1. From the St James's Chronicle (8 May 1766)
2. From The Critical Review (May 1766)
3. From The Monthly Review (June 1766)
4. From The Royal Magazine (May 1766)
5. From The London Magazine (May 1766)
6. From the Journal Encyclopédique (August/September 1766)
7. From the Gazette Littéraire de L’Europe (15 February 1766)
8. From the Bibliothèque des Sciences et des Beaux Arts (1766)
Appendix C: The Malevolent Philip Thicknesse
1. From Philip Thicknesse, Observations on the Customs and Manners of the French Nation (1766)
2. From the Notice of Thicknesse's Observations on the Customs and Manners of the French Nation, The Critical Review (December 1766)
3. From Philip Thicknesse, Useful Hints to Those Who Make the Tour of France (1768)
4. From Philip Thicknesse, A Year's Journey through France, and Part of Spain (1777)
Appendix D: Laurence Sterne and "the learned Smelfungus"
1. From [Laurence Sterne], A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768)
2. From Letters of Laurence Sterne
Appendix E: From Samuel Sharp, Letters from Italy (1766)
1. Cicisbei
2. Italian Inns
3. The Arts of Rome
4. Italian Gardens
5. The English on the Grand Tour
Appendix F: Late-Eighteenth-Century Responses to Smollett
1. From Thomas McMahon, The Candor and Good-Nature of Englishmen Exemplified (1777)
2. From Alexander Jardine, Letters from Barbary, France, Spain, Portugal, &c. (1788)
3. From Francis Garden, Travelling Memorandums (1791)
4. From Sir James Edward Smith, A Sketch of a Tour on the Continent (1793)
Appendix G: Nineteenth-Century Responses to Smollett
1. From The Port-Folio (November 1811)
2. From Leigh Hunt, Correspondence (1862)
3. From Sir Walter Scott, "Prefatory Memoir to Smollett" (September 1824)
4. From W.J. Prowse, "Smollett at Nice" (April 1870)
5. From Thomas Seccombe, "Smelfungus Goes South" (August 1901)
Appendix H: Contexts
1. Extract of a letter from Paris, Public Advertiser (1 November 1763)
2. From Dodsley's Annual Register (1762)
3. Letter from George Bassmore to The London Magazine (September 1766)
4. Extract of a letter from a "Plain Englishman," The Gentleman's Magazine (1787)
Appendix I: The Venus de Medicis in Context
Appendix J: A Bookseller in Sittingbourn

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