Into its seventh edition, Brice's guide to Paris clearly satisfied its
customers, who needed two volumes just to appreciate what one city had
to offer. Illustrations were also clearly a stong selling point, indicating
that the book was appreciated at least as much by armchair travellers
as by those who actually explored Paris.
Wild times in France
More of a sermon than a practical guide, Neale's small book testifies to the persistent assumption that going abroad, especially to France, also meant going wild:
Wherefore now some brief direction concerning
sensuall recreations and pleasures shall in order be added. Of these amongst
forraigners great care must be taken. For if this Violence, or rather
furious rage of the most unbridled passion, be exceeding dangerous [at
home], what shall we conceive of the great inconveniences, it bringeth
forth, when we lye open to all forraign snares and temptations? (143-44)
A sentimental journey
Toward the end of his life, Sterne travelled to Italy for his health,
and managed to pen this Shandean account of his trip, stressing emotional
insights over tourist sights. This particular encounter with the starling
undermines the narrator's previous assurance that a spell in the Bastille
could be pleasant and precedes his famous denunciation of slavery and
praise of English liberty. So while the style may be original, the nationalistic
stereotypes are traditional.
Travels for the heart
Pratt's two-volume work, clearly following Sterne's lead, concludes with
the traveller's female companion's wish for peace. The author assumes
still that travel is instructive, but rather than teaching about history
or politics, travel strives for Locke's aim of illuminating human nature,
albeit in a much more sentimental vein than Locke intended.
Another popular account, Thicknesse proceeds more regularly than Pratt
or Sterne, but their influence and elements of the picturesque are evident
in the looming hills and the pious or pitiable pilgrims in the foreground.
This account exemplifies the popularity of the walking tour, presented
as a series of letters that permits a more personal narrative.