Publisher: London: Printed for Henry Colburn, 1817.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Colbert; Robinson, pages 187-88; NCBEL III, 754; Goldsmiths'-Kress 21728; ODNB.
Condition: Edges rubbed; hinges weakening, but sound; some light foxing; very good copy.
Book ID: 28315
Description4to, two parts with separate paginations in one volume, as issued, 19th century brown quarter calf, marbled paper boards, red morocco spine label, gilt rules and lettering. One plate of music.
CommentsIn 1816 Irish novelist Lady Morgan (c.1776-1858) traveled to France with her husband, Thomas Charles Morgan. Napoleon was gone; the monarchy was restored once again; there was improved transportation from Dover to Calais; and France suddenly became a popular destination for a new class of English tourists. And Lady Morgan intended to write about it. France is an interesting first-hand work of reporting on French life and society, colored by Morgan’s sympathies with the Republicanism of Rousseau, Madame de Staël, La Fayette and Helen Maria Williams, among others. The first chapter is dedicated to observations on the life of French peasantry and how it had fared through the tumult of the Revolution and Napoleon, followed by chapters on society, Paris (of which she was given a personal tour La Fayette), theater and the literati. France was positively received and reviewed by those who shared her opinions, and it infuriated those who did not, especially in royalist circles, as evidenced by a French government injunction forbidding her from returning to France. But her first foray into travel writing was readable, widely read, and it went through several editions and translations – and that pleased its publisher, Henry Colburn, who encouraged the Morgans to travel next to Italy to write a similar book about life and society there, which they did.