TRAVELS OF A SPY

A Journey through England. In familiar Letters from a Gentleman here, to his Friend abroad … The Second Edition, considerably Improved.

London: Printed for J. Hooke … 1722.

[with:]

[—.] Vol. II. London: Printed for J. Pemberton … 1722.

[and with:]

[—.] A Journey through Scotland. In familiar Letters from a Gentleman here, to his Friend Abroad. Being the third Volume, which compleats Great Britain … London: Printed for J. Pemberton … and J. Hooke … 1723.

Three vols, 8vo, with various irregularities in pagination as recorded in ESTC but the text is continuous, index in each volume, initial advertisement leaf in Vol. I, woodcut initials and head- and tail-pieces; a fine, crisp copy in contemporary blind panelled calf, morocco lettering pieces, sprinkled edges; with stamps of the Ben Damph Forest Library (Earl of Lovelace).

£950

Approximately:
US $1192€1111

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
A Journey through England. In familiar Letters from a Gentleman here, to his Friend abroad … The Second Edition, considerably Improved.

Checkout now

Second edition of Vol. I, more than a hundred pages longer than the edition of 1714 and long delayed because ‘immediately after the Publication …. Queen Anne’s Death, and King George’s Accession to the Throne, took up so much of the Attention of Mankind, that the Author could not then be supposed to be at Leisure to make his Observations’; first editions of Vols II and III.

John Macky (d. 1726) was a government spy during the reigns of William III and Queen Anne, reporting on disaffected Jacobites and French naval activity. His Memoirs of the Secret Services of John Macky was published posthumously by his son in 1733, a work now known for Swift’s acid marginal annotations in his own copy. After 1714 Macky found meagre support from the Whig ministry and turned to travel writing, promising that, unlike other authors, he ‘has inserted nothing but what he has seen’. His English itinerary – through East Anglia and the home counties (Volume I) and the southwest, midlands, and northern counties (Volume II) – is a bit haphazard, but wherever he stops he provides very full and often fascinating descriptions.

Defoe, in his Tour thro’ the whole Island of Great Britain (1724-6), poured scorn on Macky but he demonstrably made use of the earlier work.

You may also be interested in...