Fonds MSG 276 - James Forbes Fonds

Tour in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, in 1796 and 1797 : volume the first Tour in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, in 1796 and 1797 : volume the second Tour in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, in 1796 and 1797 : volume the third Tour in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, in 1796 and 1797 : volume the fourth. Travel manuscript, fifth volume Letter

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James Forbes Fonds

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  • between approximately 1796 and 1799 (Creation)
    Forbes, James, 1749-1819

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17 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

James Forbes was born in London and went to Bombay in 1765 as a writer for the East India Company. He remained there until 1784. A draughtsman and keen observer, he filled 52,000 manuscript pages with notes on the natural history, archaeology, and religious and social life of India; these were later digested into hisĀ Oriental Memoirs, published between 1813 and 1815. After his return to England he married Rose Gaylard (1788), and spent considerable time travelling Europe.

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The fonds is chiefly composed of five-volume fair copy of a manuscript travel journal prepared by Forbes described his journeys and stays in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland during 1796 and 1797. Entries describe the climates, cultures, art, monuments, and historical sites of the places he visited. Some entries also reflect on current events, such as the French Revolution, and comparison between the places he visited and his native England. The fonds also contains a letter to Forbes from his grandson, the Count of Montalembert. The journals were prepared by Forbes ostensibly for his daughter, to whom the first volume contains a dedication. The fifth volume contains an addendum dated 1799.

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