To the Highlands in 1786

To the Highlands in 1786

The Inquisitive Journey of a Young French Aristocrat

Norman Scarfe

Hardback
$45.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

Late-18th-century Scotland comes to life, from coaching inns and gig upsets to agriculture and Edinburgh society.
Fascinating edition of the travels of two young sprigs of the French aristocracy in search of the secrets of British commercial, industrial and agricultural primacy reaches its climax in this delicious volume... a notable contribution to the topographical and social history of Britain on the eve of the French revolution. COUNTRY LIFE (Richard Ollard)

The most satisfying book I read in 2002... Connoisseurs of 18th-century travel books will be enraptured by this diary of a visit to Scotland by a young man from the great French family of Rochefoucauld and his Polish tutor... The diary has been translated, edited and annotated by our leading regional historian, and provides an enormous amount of fascinating detail about Scotland in the first phase of the Industrial Revolution. SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (Paul Johnson)

In Norman Scarfe's two earlier books of their travels, Francois and Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld, with their companion, Maximilien Lazowski, have earned their place among the most perceptive and lively commentators on late 18th-century Britain. In this third book, Alexandre and Lazowski tackle a tougher itinerary, seeing for themselves Improved farming from the Fens to the Moray Firth and back via Armagh, Dublin and North Wales, with deviations into Improved industry and trade, as at Rotherham and Paisley; Improved hospitals (notably Dr Hunter's at York); and more picturesque sights such as Fountains Abbey, Edinburgh, the fifty-foot Foyers Fall near Inverness, the Boyne valley and Llansannan.
In Edinburgh they dined with Adam Smith. In the infertile Highlands, they were moved by the Highlanders, only lately permitted back into their plaids and kilts: "all their customs at stake, they faced being a former people". Through Scarfe's well-attuned translation, we see these French adventurers for ourselves: the variable hospitality of the inns ("every magnificence" in Edinburgh; "a dreadful inn" - with compensations - at Old Meldrum); and the terrifying treachery of Loch Etive.

NORMAN SCARFE's two previous volumes of La Rochefoucauld travels are A Frenchman's Year in Suffolk and Innocent Espionage, 1785.

Details

December 2001
75 black and white illustrations
300 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780851158433
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BIC HBLL
BISAC HIS037050, HIS015000
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Reviews

Fascinating edition of the travels of two young sprigs of the French aristocracy... a notable contribution to the topographical and social history of Britain on the eve of the French revolution. COUNTRY LIFE (Richard Ollard)
A hugely important contribution to our understanding of the agrarian and industrial revolutions in Great Britain in the eighteenth century... Scarfe has been most enterprising in marshalling illustrations of places the two men visited... (his) editing is of such excellence. LITERARY REVIEW (Bevis Hillier)

A joy to read... plates and illustrations bring the book to life. HISTORY SCOTLAND

Deserves a wide readership. ARCHIVES

The most satisfying book I read in 2002... Connoisseurs of 18th-century travel books will be enraptured. SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

A charming and intriguing picture of late eighteenth-century Scotland, made more accessible by a knowledgeable and careful editor. EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY SCOTLAND

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