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Manuscript Travel Diaries of Around the World - BECKETT, Ernest William - 1882. 
World 1882 - Italy, England, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, America, 1882-1902. Archive of manuscript diaries, 8 volumes, penned by British peer and aristocrat Ernest William Beckett, 2nd Baron Grimthorpe (1856-1917), mostly written during his tenure as MP of Whitby, also at the time of his affair with Alice Keppel who would later become the favourite mistress of King Edward VII and who is mentioned in at least one of the journals. Content deals extensively with his travels around the world, the earliest volume also containing social observations and reflections which reveals his character in the making. Includes a yearly diary for 1882, 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, and 1902, respectively, with varying amounts of entries. Seven are small 8vo. leather bound volumes titled in gilt by the publisher, and measuring approximately 9 cm x 13,5 cm. The earliest is an 8vo. diary in green cloth boards, measuring approximately 13,5 cm x 20,5 cm. Very minor age-toning to boards, otherwise all volumes are in very good condition. Eight years in the life of a widely travelled and well-connected British banker and politician are offered up in the personal diaries of Baron Ernest William Beckett, which features innumerable important colonial names, travels to some of the world's most exotic and remote locations, confirmation of a romantic affair with a royal mistress, some parliamentary duties, and glimpses into an intermittent family life. The earliest and most detailed journal was penned in 1882, the Baron being twenty-five years of age. A most interesting read, with this diary we can see Beckett developing theories of what life ought to be, in terms of relationships and society. He learns about banking and politics through his father's work, and by attending political meetings. His passions include travel, theatre, literature (including Ruskin, Byron, etc), socializing with upper class families, and learning Italian. In February he makes a trip to Paris, continuing by rail he passes Marseilles and arrives at Cannes, this region becoming a favourite place to travel to, as seen by his frequent returns in future diaries. He also visits Monte Carlo, then goes on to tour Italy - Pisa, Rome, the Island of Capri, Naples, and so forth. He ascends Mount Vesuvius, and tours the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel. This volume also contains excellent descriptions of Italy as he travels extensively, perhaps for the first time as an adult. Some excerpts from the 1882 diary: 6 January 1882. "Spent the day in an atmosphere of politics - went with Papa to York to a meeting called together to decide on a candidate for the [.] Riding." 22 January 1882. "English is a nation of travellers. Men are generally over anxious. It is a common complaint that life is too short." 24 February 1882. "Everything is more enjoyable in anticipation than in possession. I wonder if a wife is the same - it would seem so, by the number of unhappy marriages there are. " 11 March 1882. "Ascended Vesuvius. a vast heap of ashes. Up this we are dragged by an hydraulic railway. first walked over the old crater covered in sulphur. descended the mountain a little way to see the stream of lava which was flowing." 17 March 1882. [Naples] ". museum. bronzes. some Pompeiian frescoes. sculptures. most of it from Pompeii Herculaneum." 17 May 1882. "Went to Leeds. A furious debate in the Commons. [William Ewart] Gladstone violently attacked by A.J.[Arthur James Balfour] Dalfour." 14 October 1882. "An ignorance of our past - the world lives now in a selfish absorption in the present, knows nothing of history, cares for nothing but the petty events which surrounds us." 18 October 1882. "Preparations are being made to receive our soldiers in grand style on their return from Egypt." End excerpts. The diaries continue ten years later, in 1892, a year of extensive travel for Beckett. In January, at the start of the volume, he is in Rome enjoying the opera, fine dining, visiting historic sites and posh places
[Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts]
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