Louis Simond, a French-born American merchant, wrote several lengthy travelogues recording his visits to Great Britain, Switzerland and Italy in the early 19th century. The account of his tour of Great Britain ran to two volumes, of which this is the second, beginning in Edinburgh, and heading gradually southwards, through Dunbar, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Warwick, Oxford, and eventually reaching London. Here he stayed awhile, and then headed for the South Coast before returning to London for a journey to Ireland, via Lichfield and Liverpool. Written in a very personal and accessible style, the book is easy to read and adorned with illustrations (by the author) of places or objects that caught his attention.
Louis Simond (1767-1831) a native of France, was active in New York as a merchant and auctioneer from 1790 to 1815, except for the years 1810-11, and 1817-19 when he was travelling in Europe. A distinguished amateur painter and art critic, he became a member of The New-York Historical Society in 1812 and designed the vignette of Hudson's "Half Moon," later engraved by Asher B. Durand for the Society's membership diploma. Baroness Anne-Marguerite-Henriette Hyde de Neuville painted a half-length portrait of him in graphite, brown ink and watercolour on paper, showing him holding a palette and brushes.
Our book is in reasonable condition for its age (200 years), bound in black leather with gilt borders to front and back covers, five raised bands on the spine, and almost-vanished gilt motifs, title & author's name in the intervening panels. The title is mis-spelled 'Britian' rather than 'Britain'. The covers are, not unnaturally, very worn at the edges and corners (with some frank loss), and there is general wear and tear to all surfaces. Inside, however, the binding is firm and the pages are clear and readable, though somewhat browned generally. There is minimal foxing, largely confined to the first and latter portions of the book. A number of pencil underlinings in the Appendix on France offer food for speculation about the previous owner(s).