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Exploring Europe

In the age of the Grand Tour, European travel was considered to be an essential part of the education of a gentleman. By the 19th century it was being enjoyed by increasing numbers of intrepid tourists.

The view of a busy quayside opposite Notre Dame and the Ile de la Cité would have been familiar to many tourists, for Paris was commonly the first major destination on a Continental tour.

When this illustration was published in 1794, the French Revolution was at its height. For some years English travellers avoided going through France.

Mary Adison's diary describes her visit to Italy in 1772. As a young lady of position and comfortable means, her tour extended over several months.

In Florence, she describes tourist sights, tea parties with English acquaintances, and social events such as a masked ball at the Grand Duke's.

An imaginary map of Europe was used by Mrs Priscilla Wakefield in 'The Juvenile Travellers' to help teach geography to young people in an interesting and amusing way.

Wakefield's work, which is found in the Briggs Collection of Educational Literature, was first published in 1801. Highly successful, it remained in print for fifty years.

Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.

'View of Paris', 1794. Zoom in

'View of Paris', 1794.

Diary of Mary Addison, 1772. Zoom in

Diary of Mary Addison, 1772

Map of Europe,  'Juvenile travellers', 1832 Zoom in

Map of Europe, 'Juvenile travellers', 1832.

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