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To call a book about the Grand Tour 'Tristes Plaisirs' shows originality. Usually, the dissipaions of the Society of Dilettanti and other milordi are characterised as a rollicking, aristocratic equivalent of a gap year, but the travellers' accounts anthologised in this book show that pleasure seeking could also be a serious affair.' Not only is this book as well researched as one would expect from its scholarly authors, but it is also lavishly illustrated to illuminate the points they make: a dozen colour plates and more than 100 black-and-white photographs make the reader feel they have been on a grand tour themselves. -- .Reseña del editor:
Chloe Chard assembles fascinating passages from late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century accounts of travel in Italy, by Northern Europeans, writing in English (or, in some cases, translated into English at the time); it includes writings by Charles Dupaty, Maria Graham, Anna Jameson, Sydney Morgan, Henry Matthews and Hester Lynch Piozzi. The extracts often focus on the labile moods that contribute to the 'triste plaisir' of travelling (as Madame de Stael termed it): moods such as restlessness, anxiety, exhaustion, animal exuberance, sexual excitement and piqued curiosity. The introduction considers some of these responses in relation to the preoccupations and rhetorical strategies of travel writing during the Romantic period and introductory commentaries examine the ways in which the passages take up a series of themes, around which the five chapters are ordered: 'Pleasure', 'Rising and sinking in sublime places', 'Danger and destabilization', 'Art, unease and life', and 'Gastronomy, Gusto and the Geography of the Haunted'. -- .
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