Journals, guide books, and other travel writing.

James Fenimore Cooper

Excursions in Switzerland. By J. Fenimore Cooper, Esq. Paris: Baudry’s European Library, 1836.

“Excursions in Switzerland” is not a title which will attract the notice of those who profess to despise all books of travels that do not describe some new or untracked country. But there is a reason for noticing the present work not to be found in its title. Its author is the well known novelist, Mr. Fenimore Cooper; and it would be no easy task to find a writer better fitted than the author of the Prairie to describe the wild and wondrous scenes of Switzerland. Mr. Cooper must have sometimes felt himself inspired with a new love of his art as he contemplated nature holding out her hands to receive him in the wildest of her solitudes. He has taken advantage of the lessons he there learnt; but writing like a man of experience in the world, as well as in the study of nature, this book of the gifted novelist will be read with no small delight as well by the untravelled as the travelled; and by the unromantic as the romantic. —The Magazine of Domestic Economy, Vol II. (1837).

Evliyá Efendí

Narrative of Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the Seventeenth Century. By Evliyá Efendí. Translated from the Turkish by the Ritter Joseph von Hammer. London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1834.

Washington Irving

Notes and Journal of Travel in Europe, 1804-1805. By Washington Irving. With an introduction by William P. Trent and title-page and illustrations in aquatint designed and engraved by Rudolph Ruzicka. In three volumes. New York: The Grolier Club, 1920-1921. —The colored title page is dated 1920, but the main title pages are dated 1921. Beautifully printed, as one might expect from the Grolier Club, and the aquatint illustrations are scanned in color.
Volume I.
Another copy.

Volume II.
Another copy.

Volume III.
Another copy.

Lady Mary Wortley Montague
Letters of the Right Honorable Lady M--y W---y M----e: written, during her travels in Europe, Asia and Africa, to persons of distinction, men of letters, &c. in different parts of Europe. Which contain, among other curious relations, accounts of the policy and manners of the Turks; drawn from sources that have been inaccessible to other travellers. In three volumes. London: T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt, 1763.
Vol. I.

Vol. II.

Vol. III.

Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, written during her travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa; to which are added Poems by the same author. Stereotype edition, according to the process of Firmin Didot. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1822.

John L. Stephens
Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. By John L. Stephens. Illustrated by 120 engravings. New York: Harper & Brothers. —This is the book that brought the Maya back from oblivion, with engravings by the architect Frederick Catherwood, whose trained eye captured details of Maya architecture that make these engravings priceless treasures. The original edition was published in 1843, and was evidently quite popular, since it was at least twice reprinted.

1843 edition
Vol. I.

Vol. II
1848 edition
Vol. I.

Vol. II.
1860 edition
Vol. I.

Vol. II.


The travels of Certaine Englishmen into Africa, Asia, Troy, Bythinia, Thracia, and to the Blacke Sea. And into Syria, Cilicia, Pisidia, Mesopotamia, Damascus, Canaan, Galile, Samaria, Iudea, Palestina, Ierusalem, Iericho, and to the Red Sea: and to sundry other places. Begunne in the yeere of Iubile 1600, and by some of them finished this yeere 1608. The others not yet returned. London: Printed by Th. Haveland, for W. Aspley, 1609. —Attributed by the librarian to William Biddulph and Theophilus Lavender,

Sketches of Paris: in Familiar Letters to His Friends. By an American Gentleman. [Credited by the librarian to John Sanderson.]
Another copy (marked “Volume 2” by the librarian, but it is the whole book).

“It is a strange kind of morality too, that it is extensively practised by the reading public: many families who would exclude from their dwellings a roué, a man of profligate principles, however brilliant his reputation for wit and talent, will yet freely admit into their parlors a corrupt and corrupting book, if it be distinguished for ability.

“The above remarks will be understood to apply to the book which stands at the head of them; and for it they were intended. It has crept into public favor by means of its talent, vivacity, and piquancy, without a rebuke from the public press, or rather with its express approbation; and yet it comes to us in the state of a fine plant, foul with devouring insects: it needs to be smoked and washed with soap suds, before it will be fit to be received into the parlor. It is gratuitously scoffing in its allusions to religion; and grossly offensive in its exhibitions of vice. Surely it ought to satisfy any amateur of the Paris Hetaerae, to witness the spectacle himself, without obtruding their portraits upon public view. To heighten the atrocity of the offence against good morals, many of the letters are addressed to ladies; did any one before ever think it meet to make up a bouquet for them with roses, eaten at the bud, and picked up from the kennel.

“Chapters might be selected from this book, filled with valuable information and sound reflections; but the objection above stated stands out in such bold relief, that it deservedly condemns an otherwise highly meritorious work.—One livid spot is sufficient to mark the plague, and warn us that death lurks beneath the most attractive beauty.” ——The New-York Review, July, 1838.