The Grand Tour: A History of the Golden Age of Travel by the late British author Geoffrey Trease, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature who was known for his meticulous historical research and contributions to children’s literature, is his vintage sociological travel history study, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.
This was originally published in 1967 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. This explores the history of the Grand Tour, a traditional multi-national trip intended to broaden the life experiences of young European men and women via exposure to foreign art and culture. The book focuses on its practice by the English, from its development as an educational tool for providing young Elizabethan aristocrats with a touch of international polish for future official positions (or espionage) into a social convention engaged in by anyone with the proper means from the 18th century onwards, using period travel books and diaries, and spotlighting famous Grand Tourists of the past ages such as poet John Milton (Paradise Lost), historian Edward Gibbon (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), and more.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Free for a limited time, available worldwide @ Amazon
Drawing on travel books and diaries spanning four hundred years, Geoffrey Trease illustrates the fascinating journey of the European Grand Tour.
This was a tradition rich with history from Elizabethan times down to the middle of the nineteenth century and the later introduction of railroads and tourism.
With tours often lasting as long as three or four years, they were sine qua non for the scions of the richest and most powerful British families.
Originally intended to supply young aristocrats with a proper background for statecraft and diplomacy — occasionally for espionage — the Grand Tour developed into an event of considerable cultural and educational significance.
Finally, by the middle of the eighteenth century, it had transformed into a social convention.
Wherever grand tourists went, by boat, barge, coach, horseback, sedan chair, and even by foot, they never forgot they were Englishmen.
Another eighteenth-century traveller even suggested that in order to enjoy the comforts of home, a touring Englishman must take with him “sheets, pillows, blankets, towels, pistols, a pocket-knife to eat with, soup, tea, salt, spoons, loaf sugar, tea-and-sugar chest, mustard, cayenne, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, oatmeal, sago, plenty of medicine …”
Featuring famous grand tourists such as the trailblazing Sir Philip Sidney and Henry Wotten, John Milton, the diaryist John Evelyn, Joseph Addison, Thomas Coke, Horace Walpole, James Boswell, and the historian Edward Gibbon, The Grand Tour is a delightful and detailed study.