The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley/History of a Six Weeks' Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: with Letters Descriptive of a Sail round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni
A SIX WEEKS' TOUR
A PART OF FRANCE,
SWITZERLAND, GERMANY, AND HOLLAND;
A SAIL ROUND THE LAKE OF GENEVA, AND OF
THE GLACTERS OF CHAMOUNI.
PUBLISHED BY T. HOOKHAM, JUN.
OLD BOND STREET;
AND C. AND J. OLLIER,
[The little volume of which the original title-page is reproduced opposite has a peculiar interest, not only from its biographical value, but as shewing what Shelley's idea of a book of travels was in 1817. Careful readers will scarcely doubt that the journal kept by Mrs. Shelley was revised and to some small extent interpolated by the poet; and the responsibility of publication is expressly thrown on Shelley at p. xxi. of Mrs. Shelley's preface to the Essays, Letters, &c. (2 vols. 1840), where we read that "'The Journal of a Six Weeks' Tour', and 'Letters from Geneva', were published many years ago by Shelley himself. The Journal is singular, from the circumstance that it was not written for publication, and was deemed too trivial for such by its author. Shelley caused it to be printed, and added to it his own letters, which contain some of the most beautiful descriptions ever written." For some details connected with those letters see the note at back of the fly-title Letters (page 160 of this volume). I do not know positively whether this book preceded or followed the second Marlow pamphlet in issuing from the press; but I see no reason for doubting that the pamphlet, a single sheet, was issued within a few days of the 12th of November, whereas the Six Weeks' Tour was entered in the Stationers' Register as being published by T. Hookham Jun. on the 10th of December, 1817. When Mrs. Shelley says (page 121) "It is now nearly three years since this Journey took place," I presume she is at the beginning of her task of transcribing her journal: then there was all the rest of the book to get ready, print, and bind; and it may very well, in the busy year 1817, have been several months before the book came out. The History of a Six Weeks' Tour is a foolscap 8vo. volume, boldly printed, consisting of fly-title as at back of this note, title-page (having at the back the imprint "Reynell, Printer, 45, Broad-street, Golden-square"), preface pages iii to vi, text of Journal pages 1 to 81, fly-title Letters, text of letters pages 85 to 172, fly-title Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni, and the poem of that name pages 175 to 183. The book is divided into the sections shewn in this edition; but there are no head-lines the pages being numbered centrally with large Arabic figures. This is one of the books of which Mr. Brooks seems to have obtained a remainder; for in 1829 an issue was made, consisting of the 1817 sheets undisturbed in any particular except the cancelling of the fly-title and title and the insertion of a new title only varying from the old one after the word Chamouni, which is followed thus: "By PERCY B. SHELLEY. LONDON: PUBLISHED BY J. BROOKS, 421 OXFORD STREET 1829." Mrs. Shelley in publishing her collection of Shelley's Essays &c. (referred to above), included both her own portions of it and Shelley's,—making some revisions and additions, which are noted in the present edition.—H. B. F.]