Publication Date 29 Apr 2018
OverviewIn 1790, the naturalist and traveller Thomas Pennant (1726-98) compiled the observations 'of perhaps half my life' from visiting and walking through London. Beginning with an account of primitive Britain, Pennant ambles chronologically and geographically across the capital, peeling back layers of architecture to reveal the tiny colony originally enclosed by a three-mile wall. His thoroughness and vivacious prose bring to life many fascinating characters and controversies behind the city's great buildings, from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey. In his playful autobiography, The Literary Life of the Late Thomas Pennant, Esq. (1793), also reissued in this series, Pennant says Of London was received with 'utmost avidity' by contemporary readers. Even James Boswell, a sceptic of Pennant's style, praised it highly. Pennant's other travelogues include The Journey from Chester to London (1782) and A Tour in Scotland, and Voyage to the Hebrides (1784), both reissued in this series.