Innocent Espionage

Innocent Espionage

The La Rochefoucauld Brothers' Tour of England in 1785

Norman Scarfe

Hardback
$45.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

Three young Frenchmen vividly record the English economic landscape of the late 18th century.
This book is irresistible. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Ranks with Defoe and Cobbett, and fills the gap between them... in this wonderful book we have a portrait of England at its most beautiful and most vigorous, of Jane Austen's idyllic countryside and Blake's Satanic mills. NIGEL NICOLSON, SPECTATOR We always have it in stock as it is such a marvellous book. HEYWOOD HILL BOOKSHOP
Looking at England in the early months of 1785, covering 20 or even 30 miles a day and making detailed and intelligent notes at night, the two brothers, Francois and Alexandre, and their tutor, saw landscapes still visible today; but the world of the momentous industrial revolution and optimism that, as patriots, they envied, is one we can only envy them for knowing and admire them for recording. Making good use of their time, the group travelled along rutted roads from inn to inn, visiting factories, plunging down mines, exploring dockyards and cathedrals. One is glad that both boys survived the Revolution, but even more remarkable is the survival of their manuscripts, here presented with such scholarship and joy by Norman Scarfe.
NORMAN SCARFE best known for his studies of East Anglia, has also edited and translated the earlier travels of the brothers as A Frenchman's Year in Suffolk, 1794(Boydell & Brewer in 1988). There is nothing like the journals of contemporaries to bring into focus ...Magdalen bridge and the iron bridge at Coalbrookdale both freshly built, Adam's new furniture gleaming in Kedleston, the Bridgewater canals in full operation, Robert Bakewell in his farm and Priestley in his laboratory... Nowhere have such experiences been more sharply recorded than in the letter-diaries of three intrepid foreigners who travelled this country in 1785 the book ranks in interestwith Defoe and Cobbett, and fills the gap between them... In this wonderful book we have a portrait of England at its most beautiful and most vigorous, of Jane Austen's idyllic countryside and Blake's Satanic mills. One might have expected three young foreigners with such aristocratic connecti

Details

May 1995
65 black and white illustrations
290 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780851155968
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BIC HBLL
BISAC HIS037030
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Reviews

These texts (are) one of the most significant finds of recent years... They give splendid descriptions of the leading industrial processes in Leicester, Derby, Sheffield and Liverpool; then they came back past the salt-mines at Northwich, the Potteries, the works at Ironbridge and finally the factories of Birmingham. The remainder is devoted to their more conventional sightseeing, as far as Bristol and Plymouth, before the travellers head through Dorchester and Salisbury for London.
Industrial historians will find here a remarkably fresh description of a whole range of industrial activity over a short but crucial period prior to the signing of the Anglo-French Commercial Treaty. Excellent contemporary illustrations accompany the text... This book is irresistible. THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT (John Rogister, 15/09/95)

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