Travels with a Typewriter
Mid-career, the novelist and playwright Michael Frayn returned to his old trade of journalism, embarking on a series of journeys to discover 'not the extraordinary but the ordinary, the typical, the everyday'. These resulting articles for The Observer offer a look at life in the Sixties and Seventies: bicycles and mini-skirts in Cambridge, Greenwich Village psychedelia, and the privations of Soviet Moscow.
Memories of London
and An Excursion to the Poor Districts of London
On his first (and only) visit to London in 1873, Italian author Edmondo De Amicis noted the magnificence of the metropolis – and recorded his impressions in the witty observational style that would later become his trademark. His essay is paired with a contrasting contemporaneous account of life in the deprived areas of the city by the French travel writer Louis Laurent Simonin.
The American novelist Henry James settled in England in 1876, and towards the end of his life collected the travel pieces he had written about his adopted country. Presented here, they range from his first impressions of the ‘dreadful, delightful city’ of London, to his time in the sleepy Sussex town of Rye, where he spent his final years. Introduction by Colm Tóibín.
Lifting the Veil
Two Centuries of Travellers, Traders and Tourists in Egypt
The first European explorers of the Nile were followed by an eclectic crowd of tourists, soldiers, archaeologists and fortune-seekers. This account tells their stories in the context of the political history of the country, following visitors including Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Flaubert, EM Forster and Noël Coward as they scramble up pyramids or party at Shepheard’s Hotel in the years between 1768 and 1956, when the last British soldier left Egypt.
Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
Sikkim, a tiny Buddhist kingdom sandwiched between India and China, survived the withdrawal of the British Empire and the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Then, in 1975, it was quietly annexed by India, bringing its 300-year-old dynasty to an end. Drawing on interviews and archive material, and retracing a 1922 journey by the author's grandfather, this book tells the remarkable story of this forgotten Shangri-La, its last king and his American wife, and the global power struggles that spelled its doom.
A Traveller's Reader
Throughout its history, Madrid has attracted writers, artists and revolutionaries. This traveller’s reader brings the city to life through the letters, diaries, memoirs and novels of Casanova, Napoleon, Dumas, Trotsky, Hemingway, Dalí, Buñuel and many others. Selected by the eminent historian Hugh Thomas, these eyewitness accounts set five centuries of adventures and misadventures, Surrealist pranks and blood-soaked bullfights against the brooding backdrop of the Spanish capital.
During the 19th century, it became quite common for women to go sea with their merchant seamen husbands, but rarely did they write books about the experience. Between 1829 and 1831, Abby Jane Morrell accompanied her husband Benjamin on an adventurous voyage that took them from New England to the South Pacific. This is her very accomplished account of that journey aboard the schooner Antarctic.
The Naturalist on the River Amazons
From 1848 to 1859, Henry Walter Bates was exploring the Amazon rainforests in search of flora and fauna that would support Darwin’s theory of evolution. His book, first published in 1863, recounts his journeys and catalogues astonishing discoveries while evoking the natural beauty and rhythms of river and rainforest. This reprint of the first edition includes ‘An Appreciation’ by Charles Darwin.
Peter Mundy was a 17th-century trader whose journeys took him to Istanbul, India, China, Danzig, Russia and the Arctic. His account of his remarkable travels, illustrated with his own lively drawings of the strange people and animals he encountered, survives in a single manuscript. This edited selection provides a vivid and fascinating account of the Ottoman, Mughal, Chinese and Russian empires, as well as events in London following the coronation of Charles II in 1661.
Petrarch's Guide to the Holy Land
Itinerary to the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ
This edition of Petrarch's Itinerarium ad Sepulchrum Domini Nostri Yehsu Christi (1358) comprises a complete facsimile and transcription of an authoritative 14th century manuscript, with an introduction, English translation and notes.
On Foot Through Clydesdale
Despite its long industrial history, Clydesdale has areas of great natural beauty, including the spectacular Falls of Clyde. Lees introduces the region's culture, folklore and history as he rambles through a landscape ‘where every square inch is rich in romance’. First published in 1932.
Beyond the Enchanted Forest: A Literary Anthology
In its many historical incarnations, Germany has long attracted literary visitors. The Romantics were drawn to its forests and mountains, Isherwood and Spender to the edgy glamour of the Weimar Republic, and the espionage novelists Len Deighton and John le Carré to its Cold War frontier. In addition to these, this anthology assembles evocative descriptions by more than 80 British and American writers, including Boswell, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Mark Twain, Henry James, DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.
The Chicago of Europe
and Other Tales of Foreign Travel
Before he achieved fame with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain honed his talent writing about new places, people and experiences. In the 68 letters, newspaper articles and lectures collected here, he takes us from the Mississippi to the Holy Land, India and Berlin, which he mischievously dubbed 'the Chicago of Europe'. These dispatches, some published here for the first time, confirm that Twain's wit, insight and human sympathy still hit the mark more than a century later. American-cut pages.
Scott on Waterloo
Sir Walter Scott was among the many tourists who visited the battlefield after Wellington's victory at Waterloo, but he went with a commission to write a travel book and a long poem. Edited, with notes and introduction by Paul O'Keeffe, this book presents those writings: Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk, which records Scott’s travels in Holland, Belgium and France in 1815; and two poems, The Field of Waterloo and The Dance of Death.
Thomas Jefferson Travels
Selected Writings 1784–1789
As well as their interest as writings from Jefferson's years as a diplomat in Paris and traveller in Europe, culminating in his reports of the French Revolution, this anthology reveals the vast scope of his interests in education, the arts and science.