Publisher: London: Printed for G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1824.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Pine-Coffin 792-8; Colbert.
Condition: Description once it has returned from binder.
Book ID: 28285
Description2 vols, 8vo, recent brown quarter calf, marbled paper boards, red and green calf spine labels, gilt decorations and lettering. With half-titles.
CommentsThe first travelogue by Catherine Govion Broglio Solari (circa 1755-1844), an entertaining narrative about Italy by an author whose biography is filled with so many inconsistencies and ruses that fact and fiction become difficult to differentiate. Volume one is dedicated to descriptions of Venice and its surroundings; volume two takes the reader to Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan, Genoa and northern Italy. Solari obviously traveled there, and her reporting is interesting, but the inexhaustible tales of access to high places by the "Lady of Rank" tests the credulity of the reader. Part of her lengthy preface is a clever dialogue between the anonymous author and a learned friend in which they discuss travel narratives by women. They both praise the works of Maria Graham and Mariana Starke. About the latter’s European guide Travels on the Continent, they agree: "One of the most useful little works ever published . . . No person should set foot on the continent without it." See Colbert for a good brief memoir of Solari's colorful life.