In 1815, amid the decline of George III, the scandals of the Regency, and the defeat of Napoleon, a 26-year-old Bostonian named Joseph Ballard toured Great Britain and left a complete record of his impressions. Ballard was officially part of the effort to reestablish trade with Britain following the War of 1812, but it is also clear that he was eager to get a closer look at "mother" England now that the last vestiges of colonial ties had been severed. Ballard's journal is an engageing and lively narrative full of period detail, and it offers fascinating insights into British and American society during a critical era for both nations. This edition presents the journal in its entirety, along with invaluable historical and cultural context that make clear the unique significance of Ballard's account.
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About the Author
Alan Rauch is an associate professor of English at UNC Charlotte, where he holds joint appointments in the History and Women’s Studies departments.