George Ticknor Papers, 1773 - 1870Manuscript MS-983

Box & Folder List

Series 2, Diaries - First European Journey, 1815-1819

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Box: 2, Dates: 1815-1819

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Volume I, May 1815 - September 1816

    Includes descriptions of Ticknor's meetings with Lord Byron and his circle. He compares English and American institutions, literary communities, shops and houses, food and manners. The Battle of Waterloo occurs at this time, and Ticknor's provides an account of London's response to the news. After two months in London, he crosses Holland and arrives in Göttingen.

  • Folder: 2, Volume II, September 1816 - October 1816

    The narrative portion of this volume is about Ticknor's visits to Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. In all three cities he visits prominent German intellectuals and investigates painting and sculpture. He watches a hot-air balloon ascend, comments on German morality, and provides thinly veiled anti-Semitic commentary regarding the strong Jewish influence in Prussia. The first fifty-six pages, devoted to remarks on the German university system, are preceded by the note: "Before I leave Göttingen on a Journey, whose object is to enable me to see as much as possible of the German Universities and modes of education in them, it will be well to note by way of Preparation and Preface something in the form of general remarks on the subject of the German Universities generally—something on the History, constitution and present condition of Göttingen and finally something on the Life of a Student here." Ticknor's detailed remarks are organized according to the following subdivisions [the titles are Ticknor's]: I. On the German Universities generally II. Göttingen—its History, Constitution and present condition 1. Its history 2. The Constitution of Göttingen 3. Its present Condition A. Institutions 1. The Library 2. The Botanical Garden 3. Lying-in Hospital 4. The Observatory 5. The Academical Hospital 6. Surgical Hospital 7. Museum of Natural History 8. Collections of pictures, coins, and instruments 9. Riding School 10. The Widows Chest 11. Philological Seminary 12. Homiletical and Catechetical Seminary 13. Jurist organization 14. Anatomical Theatre and Collections 15. Royal Society 16. The Review 17. Free Tables 18. Stipendia B. The Professors C. The Students III. The Life of a Student

  • Folder: 3, Volume III, October 1816 - March 1817

    This volume is a continuing record of Ticknor's visits to various German cities and, like Volume II, is punctuated with detailed essays on German educational institutions, including the universities at Halle and Jena and the Schulpforta at Naumburg. Ticknor notes the lingering effects of the Napoleonic Wars, and continues to pay calls on prominent men of letters (including Goethe at Weimar)

  • Folder: 4, Volume IV, March 1817 - August 1817

    This volume opens with Ticknor leaving Göttingen and travelling by way of Frankfurt, Heidelberg, and Strasbourg to Paris. He has frequent conversations with Madame de Stael, Alexander von Humboldt, François-René de Chateaubriand, August von Schlegel, Benjamin Constant, and Robert Robert Southey, among others. At nights, he visits a Parisian salon. Ticknor remarks on the dying Madame de Stael, on Baron von Humboldt, and on the French theater. As in Volume III, this volume ends with a long essay on French life and institutions.

  • Folder: 5, Volume V, August 1817 - November 1817

    Ticknor leaves Paris and for two months travels to Rome by way of Geneva, Milan, Verona, Venice, and Bologna. He calls on distinguished people, such as General Lafayette, whenever he can, and continues to attend social functions in practically every city. The bulk of this volume is devoted to adventures along the road, scene painting, and responses to works of art, monuments, and points of interest. Ticknor ascends the Swiss Alps, describes life at the remote St. Bernard, and moves across northern Italy. In Venice, he meets Lord Byron again. The volume ends with a description of the Campagna.

  • Folder: 6, Volume VI, November 1817 - March 1818

    This volume opens with Ticknor's words on what it feels like to lose himself in Rome. The next section is Ticknor's version of the history of the city. He spends most of February in Naples and takes several side trips to places like Pompeii and Paestrum. He gives an account of the people of Naples, including the Lazzarone. This is followed by an essay on Roman society full of sketches of various foreigners and revealing the extent of his relations with the Bonaparte family. Then he gives an American's-eye-view of Holy Week in Rome. Near the end of March he leaves for Florence.

  • Folder: 7, Volume VII, March 1818 - September 1818

    The first few pages of this volume are about Florence, after which Ticknor has a trip to Genoa, and from there he travels along the southern coast of France on his way to Spain. Ticknor arrives in Madrid near the end of May and lives there through the summer. The remainder of this volume is divided into three sections: (1) a long and highly critical discussion of Madrid and its people and institutions; (2) an examination of the bullfight; (3) a summary of Ticknor's social life in Madrid.

  • Folder: 8, Volume VIII, September 1818 - January 1819

    The first twenty-eight pages of this volume are an account of Ticknor's excursion from Madrid to the Escorial and San Ildefonso. In mid-September he leaves Madrid and travels southward through Cordova, Granada, and Malaga to Gibraltar. He reports along the way on the hermits of Cordova, the Alhambra, and the distinct changes in the people and the countryside. Ticknor then travels to Cadiz and Seville. From Seville he crosses the mountains into Portugal and journeys on to Lisbon where he stays one month. From Lisbon he voyages to England before crossing back to France. He lives in Paris for a month. The last section of this volume is another long discussion of French society and manners.

  • Folder: 9, Volume IX, January 1819 - June 1819

    The final volume of Ticknor's first European journal. From January to June he travels up and down England, renewing old acquaintanceships of the aristocracy, by writers and poets and politicians, and he moves easily from one circle to another, and from one country house to another. Sidney Smith, Sir Walter Scott (and his daughter), William Wordsworth, Hazlitt, Robert Southey, Sir James Mackintosh, and Wilberforce. He cavorts about London with Washington Irving. In the last few pages of this volume, as he heads for Boston, he paints a vivid picture of shipboard life and procedures.

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