‘Curious Travellers’: Dr Johnson and Thomas Pennant on Tour
Author: Nigel Leask, Mary-Ann Constantine, and Elizabeth Edwards
Publisher: Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru
Format: Paperback, viii+40
This beautifully illustrated booklet accompanies an exhibition held at Dr Johnson’s House, London (October 2018 – January 2019), exploring the eighteenth-century spirit of ‘curiosity’ through the Scottish and Welsh tours of Thomas Pennant and Samuel Johnson. It stages a close encounter between two profoundly engaging writers, comparing their responses to the cultures, languages, landscapes and histories of these two Celtic nations. Other voices are present here too, including Johnson’s travelling companion James Boswell, and Hester Thrale Piozzi, the mutual friend of both Johnson and Pennant. Contemporary illustrations by Moses Griffith bring the journeys vividly to life.