Paris: Durand, 1789. First Thus. The first French translation, released in Craven's adopted country in the same year as the English. Bound in contemporary mottled calf with gilt to spine. Octavo is internally clean and collates complete: 306 pages, including one folding engraved map and 6 folding engraved illustrations. Royal censor's authorization (Privilege du Roi) at rear. A lovely copy of this rare and early women's travel narrative. OCLC reportz copies of this imprint in only two institutions.
Baroness Elizabeth Craven became infamous for separating from her husband to settle in France. Soon after, she became renowned for sailing to Constantinople and journeying throughout eastern Europe. She recorded her experiences in far off lands and published them in French and English in 1789. "Crossing the Continent, Eastern Europe, and reaching the Middle East caused Lady Craven to encounter people she had never met, to discover landscapes she had never seen and manners she was not used to. The accounts she gives of her experience are a wealth of information on her general perception of the unknown and her personal evolution in the course of this journey" (Palma). The journey positioned Craven as an a frontrunner among women adventurers, at a time when educated women's travel was largely limited to Western Europe. And the publication of her astute social observations opened the door to a literary reputation that placed her in a circle with luminaries including Samuel Johnson and Horace Walpole. An important early example of women's travel literature. Near Fine (Item #2163)