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Thomas Coryate (1576-1617) was one of the great early travellers, opening up Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, the Holy Land and Mogul India to his amazed - and sometimes disgusted - readers. In 1608 he set out to travel - mostly on foot - through France and Italy to Venice, returning through Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. His book reporting on what he had seen and experienced, Coryats Crudites, was published in 1611 and was a huge success, providing both useful information and entertainment through the reported encounters and mishaps of the apparently tireless author. Nowadays few people have actually read the work, which stretches to over a million words, but Coryate demands to be known more widely, since he was the person almost single-handedly responsible for the creation of the Grand Tour, that inescapable finishing process which was to mark a rite of passage for the aristocracy and the upper middle classes of Britain for over 150 years. As one modern editor of Coryate has commented: 'the scope, reliability and, not least, the entertainment value of the Crudites give it an assured place among the best in the literature of travel'.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750934169
ISBN-10: 0750934166
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x 10mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 14-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Following the sudden death of his father in 1607, indentured royal servant, Tom Coryate, left his native Britain to explore the vast frontiers of Europe and Asia. Setting sail from Dover, a voyage on which he discovered he was susceptible to motion sickness ('I varnished the exterior parts of the ship with the excremental ebullitions of my tumultuous stomach'), he ventured through the myriad nations of western Europe, and the mysterious deserts of the Middle East, before coming to rest - in more ways than one - in the sweltering, exotic heat of Mughal India. In Odd Tom Coryate R.E. Pritchard presents us with a wonderfully detailed and humorous account of Coryate's epic journey, an adventure on par with that of the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta. This is a biographical study of the highest order, as well as a captivating travelogue unparalleled within its genre. In today's world, where eccentrics are something of a rarity, Pritchard has written a superb narrative about one of history's finest. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - R. E. Pritchard

Ron Pritchard is a distinguished anthologist and lecturer in literature. He has published widely on the subject of literature, particularly poetry, and his books include Shakespeare's England and Dickens's England, both for Sutton Publishing.

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