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«Travels in Portugal… and Spain» by H. F. Link

Following his interest in botany, entomology and ornithology, Henry Frederick Link visited Spain with the Count of Hoffmannfegg, in 1798. The origin of this journey was initially to do a research focused in Portugal, as Link himself underlines in the introduction of the book “to collect materials for Fauna and Flora Lusitaniae”.

However, his exploration spread out to Spain and France and he went beyond his scientific purpose and decided to write a travel book about these three countries.

 

“At the time we had no idea of publishing and account of our travels as such; our chief attention was directed to investigating the works of nature, especially the botanical riches of the country”

Nevertheless on his return, after reading numerous accounts of travels in Portugal, Link discovered so many inaccuracies that he decided to “seize the pen to defend my friends the Portugueze” and wrote Travels in Portugal and through France and Spain. With a dissertation on the literature of Portugal, and the Spanish and Portugueze Languages.

Written in 1801 and translated from the German by John Hincley the copy available in our library was published that year by Nichols and Son Printers, in London. The information related to Spain is gathered in six chapters of the book (VII-XI), from Biscay to Extremadura, through Castile and Madrid.

 

USEFUL LINKS

About the author:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Heinrich_Friedrich_Link

About the book:

(pdf – page 18)

http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/fichero_articulo?codigo=2857118&orden=0

Online book:

http://books.google.es/books?id=Y38EAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA2-PA296&lpg=RA2-PA296&dq=henry+frederic+link+travels+in+portugal+and+through+france&source=bl&ots=qnpL23fuGw&sig=UtI5pakQXOWwLEB6mDHR8_dLhB0&hl=es&ei=RxVPS9COEJaUjAfyw6GWCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=henry%20frederic%20link%20travels%20in%20portugal%20and%20through%20france&f=false

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“Spain and its People” by Eugène Poitou

Spain and its people

First published in France in 1869, Spain and its People. A record of Recent Travel with historical and topographical notes, was translated by William Henry Davenport Adams, an English writer and journalist (whose biography is available in Wikipedia) in 1872. 

The copy accessible in our library contains numerous engravings by V. Foulquier portraying scenes of the everyday life in Spain, its landscapes, traditions and main episodes of its History. 

As Davenport points out in the preface, 

if Poitou´s pages pretend to no great depth of reflection, they sketch the present condition of Spain, – they delineate its landscapes, they cull the choicest episodes of its history, and touch upon the more conspicuous features of the Spanish character,- with unfailing good sense, quick discrimination, and considerable facility. 

Spanish people and their manners are the object of a lot of criticism made by Poitou through this book, staying such things as They have no taste or Spain, nevertheless, is very good! But, I must own, the Spaniards have somewhat spoiled it; and thanks to them, I return more persuaded that ever of the truth of the adage, that we always learn something by travelling, if it be only to love better our own country”

Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Starting from the northern cities bordering on France and heading southwards, the author takes particular interest in describing the Cathedral of Toledo, Museo del Prado in Madrid or Zaragoza, which the author believes to be “the most interesting city of Spain”. At the beginning of every chapter a poem of renowned author is included, verses by Byron, Southey and Jorge Manrique, among others. 

USEFUL LINKS 

About the author: 

http://www.fernandoiwasaki.com/articulos_archivos/Poitou.pdf 

About the book: 

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B02E2DE173BEF34BC4B53DFB766838F669FDE&scp=1&sq=new+publications+spain+an+its+people&st=p 

Online book: 

http://www.archive.org/details/voyageenespagne01poitgoog  

 

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