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[PÜCKLER-MUSKAU, Hermann von.]

Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years 1828 & 1829;

with Remarks on the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, and Anecdotes of Distinguished Public Characters. In a Series of Letters. By a German Prince.

London: Effingham Wilson, 1832 Stock Code: 139875
£850.00

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Notes

First edition in English of "one of the most remarkable and comprehensive portraits of Britain in this period" (Nicholas Penny, London Review of Books), an engaging, witty and lively travelogue by the German nobleman and influential landscape gardener Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), presented here in a most attractive period binding.

Tour in England, Ireland, and France was originally published at Stuttgart in 1831 as Briefe eines Verstorbenen (Letters of a Dead Man). The English translation is by Sarah Austin, who conducted an impassioned four-year correspondence with the "light-hearted, bold, unscrupulous, hedonistic, and boastfully erotic" German prince (ODNB

Puckler-Muskau's tour centred on his search for an eligible heiress and "received plaudits from all quarters" (Glenn Hooper, ed., The Tourist's Gaze: Travellers to Ireland 1800-2000, 2001, p. 37). There has recently been a new translation, by Linda B. Parshall (Harvard University Press, 2016). In his review of that edition Nicholas Penny wrote in the London Review of Books that "Puckler's descriptions of wild scenery are astonishing, as are his intrepidity and stamina when traversing such terrain; his accounts of magnificent parks, flower gardens and long-vanished garden buildings are especially valuable because they were made at a moment when concern for privacy and security were, increasingly, an impediment to curiosity. But the letters are of equal interest for historians who wish to understand the social rituals of that period, providing, for example, accounts of country house dinner conversation conducted against the background music of torrential male urine; of an audience, attired in deepest mourning for the deceased Duke of York, screeching with laughter at a pantomime; and of an awkward moment at court when, as George IV attempts to confer a knighthood, the sword sticks in its scabbard. We also gain insight into the aesthetic values and modes of interpretation characteristic of a cosmopolitan man of taste at that date".

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Description

4 volumes, octavo (186 x 110 mm). Contemporary half vellum, flat spines divided by paired gilt fillets, gilt foliate lozenge in third, fourth and sixth compartments, green morocco twin labels, Antique Spot pattern marbled paper sides, red speckled edges.

Illustrations

Fine lithograph portrait frontispiece of the author printed on india paper and mounted (with tissue guard), by Weld Taylor after Franz Kruger, printed by Charles Hullmandel.

Condition

Slight bump to foot of spine of vol. I, bindings just slightly sprung. A lovely set, clean and bright.

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