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[Travel Journal]: Portugal and Spain October 1872; Tangier and Norway 1894
Portugal, Spain, Norway, Tangier, 1894. Good. Octavo. Half leather with cloth boards and paper label on the front board. Spine and corner leather worn away or eroding with some spotting on the boards thus good only with detached front board. A travel journal composed by Walter C. Pepys while visiting Portugal, Spain, France, and Norway during different years of his life with roughly half of the journal used on both sides of 58 leaves (or approximately 116 pages) comprised of approximately 20,000 words. Pepys was a practicing barrister and had gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the 60th Rifles, an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army.The diary begins with his departure by steam boat to Oporto, Portugal in 1872. He describes the women on his first day there, "I had a good opportunity for seeing the people - The women are remarkably fine - many handsome and carry licensure loads on their heads- they dress in dark colours but usually have a bright cotton kerchief on the shoulder or head. Their love for jewelry evidently strong." He makes small remarks like this often in regards to the people he sees. On Halloween in Lisbon, he describes the King, "a fine house well filled in honor of the King's Birthday - he and wife were present - he looks leery and has that reputation." And again while in Boulogne, France he describes the people around him, "crowded with snobs from 'Old England' uninviting, uncomfortable and very dear." However even though he is quick to judge the people he meets he describes the locations and events with admiration. In Seville he describes their Christmas ceremony, "at dusk I saw a most curious ceremony at the Cathedral- 10 boys dancing before the high altar to the strain of a string band - they were dressed in white feathered cocked hats... This ceremony was unique to Seville and lasted the octave of the feast of the Immaculate Conception... The Vatican once attempted to abolish it." He also describes some of the other churches he visits, "the Grand Cathedral - lately restored is very fine - somewhat like Canterbury... Magnificent rose windows and one good one in the south aisle by Jean Cousin." During his time in Malaga, Spain he writes about the rioting: "Shutter up - house doors closed and armed bands of ruffians parading about shouting 'Viva La Republica!' Most of them armed were procured... In accomplish which many shots were fired and several killed and wounded." This was due to the First Spanish Republic political regime that existed from 1873 until 1874, made up of radicals, republicans, and democrats calling for a socialist revolution. In the next few entries he writes about the town returning to normal except for the influx of troops from Granada. Though he does not write as often of events as he did previously, he does write, "I hope someday again to see her in a more settled state than this at present," on the day he leaves to return home. His trip to Norway in July of 1894 is much calmer. Most of the entries begin with waking up and the weather that accompanies him while traveling; "a terrific thunderstorm, lightning magnificent - seeming to strike in balls of tine." He describes Norway as, "heavily timbered with more trepidant plots of cultivation." However, unlike his trips in 1872 and 1873 he is more morose. He writes, "The evenings are closing in- but I wrote up my funeral tonight by twilight." The rest of the entries from Norway never mention this topic again but there is still a looming discontent in them. Pepys married in 1874 and had five children before passing away in 1914 at the age of 73. An interesting, occasionally eventful, and sometimes introspective look back on the various journeys throughout a man's life.
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2017-11-16           Check availability:      ABAA    

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