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Travels Through France And Italy

by Tobias George Smollett

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Book Description
The burghers here, as in other places, consist of merchants, shop-keepers, and artisans. Some of the merchants have got fortunes, by fitting out privateers during the war. A great many single ships were taken from the English, notwithstanding the good look-out of our cruisers, who were so alert, that the privateers from this coast were often taken in four hours after they sailed from the French harbour; and there is hardly a captain of an armateur in Boulogne, who has not been prisoner in England five or six times in the course of the war. They were fitted out at a very small expence, and used to run over in the night to the coast of England, where they hovered as English fishing smacks, until they kidnapped some coaster, with which they made the best of their way across the Channel.

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After the death of his daughter, Smollet set off on a two-year tour of the Continent. This is the alternately crotchety and appreciative record of his adventures.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Work by Tobias Smollett, published in 1766. The breakdown of Smollett's health and the death of his 15-year-old daughter in 1763 precipitated a year-long journey through France and Italy. The book takes the form of a series of letters in which he describes the social life, history, and physical setting of each city he encounters. Sick, irascible, severely prejudiced, and intolerant of pretense, Smollett argues with his hosts and fellow travelers and holds French and Italian art, politics, and Roman Catholic religion in contempt.



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