Place and Imprint: London: Saunders and Otley, 1838.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Clark III, 205; Sabin 44939; NCBEL III, 949; Robinson, pages 143; Colbert.
Condition: Cloth a little spoted and faded; very good copy.
Book ID: 28088
Physical Description3 vols, 8vo, contemporary blind-stamped purple cloth, gilt lettering.
CommentsThe second travel narrative about America by political economist and journalist Harriet Martineau (1802-76), in which she recounts her two-year tour to New York, Baltimore, Washington, Charlottesville, Charleston, New Orleans and back up the Mississippi through Kentucky, returning from there to New York. Its predecessor, Society in America (1837), covered the political and social perspective, particularly slavery in America. Retrospect of Western Travel is more of a “personal narrative and of the lighter characteristics of men, and incidents of travel.” Martineau’s reporting is compelling and provides one of the best journalistic perspectives on antebellum America. A reviewer in the Eclectic Review wrote (as quoted in Sabin): "No one who wishes to form a correct and enlarged view of the character, institutions, resources, and prospects of America, should fail to pursue Miss Martineau's volumes."