Classics graduate and grand tourist
A grand tourist himself, Joseph Addison made good use of his classical
studies to compile what became the foremost English guide to antiquities
in Italy. Essentially a geographical annotation of Latin literature and
history, Addison's work addresses young gentlemen steeped in a classical
education. The title Remarks indicates its rather casual structure and
easy familiarity, though most of us would find its constant and frequently
obscure allusions annoying.
By the second half of the eighteenth century, the grand tour had been so frequently recounted that Boswell and Brydone both sought more remote corners of Italy. Boswell's usual irrepressible enthusiasm and undaunted effrontery secured him the acquaintance of Pascal Paoli, a freedom fighter of his day, while Boswell's published account (1768) earned for its author the life-long soubriquet of Corsican Boswell. Brydone dedicated his account to William Beckford, responsible for the fashion of picturesque tours, who had initially suggested Brydone visit Sicily:
Typical of a whole class of spiritual guides to Rome, this little volume
lists the holy sights and quantifies the redemptive value of visiting
each in terms of indulgences and remission of sins. If one had only a
limited time to spend in Rome, such a guide no doubt repaid its modest
purchase price many times over.
A much-reprinted companion
These two editions reveal the impressive longevity of many travel accounts.
Already in its third edition by 1658, Martinelli's work remained
a valued and much-reprinted companion through the seventeenth century.
His book also displays an early form of the package tour, dividing his
sights into ten separate itineraries. Although the later edition is in
a larger format, the illustrations are much less carefully printed. Both
volumes are easily tucked into a convenient pocket.
Credited with coining the phrase, 'Grand Tour', Lassels' book, like Addison's,
aims at the fashionable gentleman and his tutor. As the title indicates,
Lassels is more methodical, and in that respect, less original, than Addison.
He is also much more didactic, proclaiming that among the virtues of travel
are that it weans a young nobleman from 'the dangerous fondness of his
Mother' [does this help explain the maternal frontispiece?] and takes
him 'four notches lower in his self-conceit and pride'. (A7v, A8r)