Thursday, March 12, 2015

Waterloo Bridge 1826

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Prospect of London 1826
Loretta reports:

Online you can find many editions of Prince Pückler-Muskau’s account of his travels in the U.K.  Open any one at random, and I think you’ll be captivated.  I have no idea what his writing was like in the original language, but Sarah Austin gives us a very lively and very readable translation.  “Readable” is not something you can always say of the majority of early 19th C English prose works.

Many of the sites he writes about exist today, but in a very different setting.  This painting of Waterloo Bridge captures a part of the London he would have known.


— Hermann Pückler-Muskau , Tour in England, Ireland, and France: in the years 1826, 1827, 1828, and 1829. With remarks on the manners and customs of the inhabitants, and anecdotes of distinguished public characters. In a series of letters. (1833)

Image: Alexander Nasmyth, A Prospect of London, seen from the Earl of Cassilis' Privy Garden, with Waterloo Bridge, courtesy Wikipedia.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Jindra said...

Hermann Pückler-Muskau is my role model! You have to admire the man - he adapted to every situation without batting an eyelid. He loved to travel and wrote well about his travels. When he was out of money, he walked, wrote about it, earned a bit and travelled on with an enormous retinue until money ran out... He married the older Lucie and when he ran out of funds again, they divorced amicably so that he could travel to Britain and look for a heiress to marry (and to take home to Lucie, who continued to live in his home and only got mad when he brought the slave Mahbouba home from one of his travels. Mahbouba died young, though, so the non-marriage to Lucie was saved). That didn't work out, but he was so inspired by English gardens that he immediately had to have one at home. When he ran out of money again, he was forced to sell Muskau castle and retire to the much smaller Branitz. Where he immediately stomped another English garden out of the sandy soil. He actually changed the border between Germany and Poland by diverting the river Oder in order to fit his gardening plans. Changing the German language by introducing certain English words he liked didn't work quite as well, though.

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