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Travels through France and Italy

T. Smollett

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .France.

To judge from appearance, the people of Boulogne are descended from the Flemings, who formerly possessed this country; for, a great many of the present inhabitants have fine skins, fair hair, and florid complexions; very different from the natives of France in general, who are distinguished by black hair, brown skins, and swarthy faces. The people of the Boulonnois enjoy some extraordinary privileges, and, in particular, are exempted from the gabelle or duties upon salt: how they deserved this mark of favour, I do not know; but they seem to have a spirit of independence among them, are very ferocious, and much addicted to revenge. Many barbarous murders are committed, both in the town and country; and the peasants, from motives of envy and resentment, frequently set their neighbours' houses on fire. Several instances of this kind have happened in the course of the last year. The interruption which is given, in arbitrary governments, to the administra. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Tobias Smollett traveled through France and Northern Italy from 1763-1765, and recounted his experiences in a series of letters. He is curmudgeonly, opinionated, and chauvinistic, but also enlightened and perceptive, and sardonically humorous, giving his account something of the flavor of the picare

When it comes to the arts and “Frenchified Cuisine”, Smollett was undoubtedly a philistine, and he was also a curmudgeon par excellence. Fortunately, he was also a good writer with wit, an eye for detail, and dramatic incident too.

We join Tobias Smollett, already a famous novelist, and his wife and

The famous 18th century British author Tobias Smollett, (and infamous grouch) travels to France and Italy in 1763.Bringing along his wife Nancy and two young girls, of which Nancy was their guardian and a servant .What are the chances that disasters will ensue, for the party of five? Having recently

As Henry wrote wonderfully above - Infamous grouch! Smollett provided the model of the wingeing tourist for the next 250 years. At times I wanted to belt the guy. Still, his descriptive powers are often brilliant, and his complaints fully merited. Since the places he visited often retain the very ru

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