Philosophy of travel

Special Collections Exhibitions
Enlarging the prospects of happiness
  Great cities of Italy
  Pompeii & Vesuvius
  Philosophy of travel
  The picturesque
  England & Scotland
  Ireland & Wales
  Women travellers
  North & South America
  Travel publishers
  Twentieth-century travel writing
  Check lists
John Locke and Adam Smith both cite more examples from travel writing than from any other genre to support their philosophical investigations. Travel was believed to expand the mind, reduce prejudices, and cultivate taste. While many contemporaries ridiculed such lofty pretensions, travellers and scholars alike compiled their own journals and pored over published arguments about the value of travel, and many no doubt saw themselves as engaged in ennobling work. How could it be leisure, if you thought so hard about it and kept such careful notes?

A personal diary

This small vellum diary, with its middle tie, is precisely the sort of notebook an observant gentleman would be expected to carry on his travels. This traveller describes the coinages in Florence and Genoa, records epitaphs, and sketches coats of arms. And like most travellers, he apparently never finished the journal.
check list

Common phrases for travelling

This somewhat battered little book attests to its apparent usefulness for some traveller, though it is difficult to imagine that the blend of scatalogical and salacious dialogue, 'Common Talke in an Inn', could ever have proved useful in any language.
check list

Imaginary dialogues

These two imaginary dialogues raise serious questions about the value of the grand tour. Locke is the more sceptical speaker, and ultimately the more forceful. In refuting the traditional argument that travel exposed one to the various guises of Human Nature, Locke here advocates travel beyond Europe, to ‘catch Her undressed, nay quite naked in North-America, and at the Cape of Good Hope'. Perhaps he should have carried The Gentleman's Pocket Companion with him.
check list

A book for the tourist

This curious book proved very popular in its day, perhaps because a traveller following its prescriptions could be sure of returning with much new knowledge and a broader understanding of the world. That is, if he survived the cool reactions of the many locals whom he would have to pester in order to elicit the detailed information Berchtold recommends collecting.
check list



Wichmanshausen, Giov, fl. 1679.Reise von Napoli nach Sicilien und Malta 1679 14 Octr.Ms. handwritten in German, Italian and Latin. Bound in vellum, with flap and Beer MS39

Wichmanshausen, Giov, fl. 1679.
Reise von Napoli nach Sicilien und Malta 1679 14 Octr. Ms. handwritten in German, Italian and Latin. Bound in vellum, with flap and tie.
de Beer MS39
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