Publisher: London: Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, 1776.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T89035; Pine-Coffin 770-4; Robinson, page 186; ODNB.
Condition: Some light foxing and stains in the text (particularly volume one); edges a little rubbed; very good copy.
Book ID: 28112
Description3 vols, 8vo, contemporary calf, red morocco spine labels, gilt lettering. With half-titles.
CommentsLady Anna Riggs Miller (1741-81), a wealthy heiress, set off with her husband John Miller in 1770 on an “ideal jaunt” to Italy – travel for travel’s sake - which she recorded in letters to her mother. The correspondence was not at first intended for others, but as the tour progressed, Miller began to recognize the inadequacies and inaccuracies of other works of travel to Italy – several which she correctly surmised were borrowed from earlier works - and she committed herself to improve upon them for the benefit of future travelers. The result was the first account of the Grand Tour by an English woman writer, and with it came a fresh female perspective on the subject that would resonate with future travelers and travel writers for decades. Miller’s lengthy work was not only a guide to the traveler, but also a survey of Renaissance art and architecture; and her assessments of the contemporary art scene were meant to assist future connoisseurs as they entered the Italian art market as consumers. She became personally acquainted with the artists as she accessed their work and prices and even their personalities, e.g.: Giovanni Battista Piranesi “on a good day could be ‘agreeable to strangers’” – as quoted in Brian Dolan, Ladies of the Grand Tour (2001). Miller’s work was referred to countless times by future travelers in their writings, both by those who questioned her art criticism and those who praised it, her eloquence and comprehensiveness. Lady Miller and her husband later became known in English literary circles for the salon held at their home at Batheaston and for compiling the anthology Poetical Amusements at a Villa near Bath (1775-81). Contemporary ink signature on the front free endpapers.