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“Tourist in Spain» (1837) by Thomas Roscoe

Alcazar at SegoviaThomas Roscoe (Liverpool, 1791) was a British journalist and travel-writer. The account of his journeys was published by Mr. Jennings within the collection Landscape Annual. Although Mr. Roscoe wrote four volumes on Spain –which can be found in our library–, Tourist in Spain: Biscay and the Castile’s is his most representative piece of travel writing. He also wrote works on France, Italy and Morocco and The Life and Writings of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

In Tourist in Spain (1837) the author relates the events that took place throughout his travels around Spain, starting in the autumn of 1935. Bayonne is the starting point of the peninsular tour, through the Pyrenees, visiting then Vitoria, Burgos, Segovia, Madrid and ending in Toledo. Within the first half of the volume, Mr. Roscoe stresses the events related to the conflict that is taking place during that period, the First Carlist War, and its “barbarous excesses committed on both sides throughout this lamentable war”.

Besides Roscoe’s personal adventures, the author relates stories from other people that he met during his journey. With regard to the Spaniards, the journalist states that “they do not govern themselves here by the laws of ethics, but by custom, or according to the rules they can suck out of the pith of old proverbs, mostly antediluvian, and just suited to the world as it existed before the flood”.

Street of Alcalá, MadridThe engravings by David Roberts that illustrate the book are one of the most remarkable features of this volume. According to Spectator, “The engravings are so uniformly excellent, that we cannot, without doing injustice to the other, name any one in particular. They are, for the most part, perfect”.

USEFUL LINKS

About the author:

http://www.hanesybont.co.uk/earlytourists/roscoe.htm

Online book:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3VINAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22Thomas+Roscoe%22+%2Btourist+in+spain&source=bl&ots=9gpwJosvP-&sig=4Ju-fR97F-oWOfUr3Itxe2sUO2o&hl=es&ei=5AdjS8esDJ280gSYwJ3LBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Other works on Spain by Roscoe:

http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/bibliotecavirtualandalucia/catalogo_imagenes/grupo.cmd?path=10256

 http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/bibliotecavirtualandalucia/catalogo_imagenes/grupo.cmd?path=10251

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