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History of a Six Weeks' Tour

Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley

Book Overview: 

Full titled History of a Six Weeks' Tour through a part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland; with Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva and of the Glaciers of Chamouni, this small journal was a travel narrative kept by the English Romantic authors Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley. They describe two trips, both taken by Mary, Percy, and Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont: one across Europe in 1814, and one to Lake Geneva in 1816. Divided into three sections, the text consists of a journal, four letters, and Percy Shelley's poem "Mont Blanc". Apart from the poem, the text was primarily written and organized by Mary Shelley.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .St. Aubin, a lovely village embosomed in trees; but on a nearer view we found the cottages roofless, the rafters black, and the walls dilapidated;—a few inhabitants remained. We asked for milk—they had none to give; all their cows had been taken by the Cossacs. We had still some leagues to travel that night, but we found that they were not post leagues, but the measurement of the inhabitants, and nearly double the distance. The road lay over a desart plain, and as night advanced we were often in danger of losing the track of 21wheels, which was our only guide. Night closed in, and we suddenly lost all trace of the road; but a few trees, indistinctly seen, seemed to indicate the position of a village. About ten we arrived at Trois Maisons, where, after a supper on milk and sour bread, we retired to rest on wretched beds: but sleep is seldom denied, except to the indolent, and after the day's fatigue, although my bed was nothing more than a sheet spr. . . Read More