Place and Imprint: London: Printed for A. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1789.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T71718; Rothschild 1551; Pine-Coffin 784-5; Robinson, Wayward Women, page 243.
Condition: Edges and boards a little worn; light foxing to the prelims; very good copy.
Book ID: 28887
Physical Description2 vols, 8vo, contemporary red half calf, blue paper boards, marbled endpapers, green leather spine labels, gilt rules and lettering. Six pages of publisher’s advertisements in volume two.
CommentsIn 1784 Hester Lynch Thrale (1741-1821), the famous friend and confidante of Samuel Johnson, married an Italian musician, Gabriel Mario Piozzi, and they soon set off for Europe, where they traveled for three years, which she artfully chronicled in one of the most entertaining accounts of the Grand Tour. Written in an informal conversational style, Observations and Reflections is “alive with present-tense immediacy, to erode the barriers between diary and travel narrative. Her delight in Piozzi and in Italy was everywhere apparent in the materials she included in this development of the genre, which subverted masculine tropes of the grand tourist as disillusioned and hard to please” – ODNB. Piozzi’s work became a model for other women travel writers and a source for authors like Ann Radcliffe in her novel The Mysteries of Udolpho. Bookplate of Charles Langton Massingberd on the front paste-downs, below which is the bookplate of American author Larry McMurtry. This is a duplicate from his collection of books by women travelers.