[A]s the cemetery is small, and it is a precious privilege to sleep in holy ground, the brotherhood are immemorially accustomed, when one of their number dies, to take the longest-buried skeleton out of the oldest grave, and lay the new slumberer there instead. Thus, each of the good friars, in his turn, enjoys the luxury of a consecrated bed, attended with the slight drawback, as it were, and make room for another lodger.
-from "The Cemetery of the Capuchins," by Nathaniel Hawthorne
From the era from a trip to the Continent was rarer but more deeply appreciated comes an enchanting literary travelogue assembled from the hearts and minds of some of the greatest wordsmiths in the English language. A Grand Tour in 10 volumes, these delightful volumes, first published in 1914, gather little-seen essays from famous erudite explorers in compact collections that will inspire those who've never been abroad to make the journey, and move those who have to pack their bags again.
Volume VII explores Italy, Sicily, and Greece, viewed through the eyes and prose of a panoply of extraordinary writers: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is awestruck by Rome, Charles Dickens descends into the city's catacombs and crypts, Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the approach to Florence, and much more by such notable voices as William Cullen Bryant, George S. Hilliard, John Ruskin, and others. Beautifully illustrated with charming photographs, it is a work to treasure... and to take along on your next trip.
OF INTEREST TO: armchair travelers, readers of classic literature
American journalist and historian FRANCIS WHITING HALSEY (1851-1919) was literary editor of The New York Times from 1892 through 1896. He wrote and lectured extensively on history, and also edited the two-volume Great Epochs in American History Described by Famous Writers, From Columbus to Roosevelt (1912).