This first complete reprint of Boswell's book on Corsica since the eighteenth century is enhanced by comprehensive annotation, textual apparatus, and a critical introduction. Boswell designed his text in two parts: first, an Account of Corsica, which gives a historical, political, socio-economic, and cultural overview of the Corsican people, and second, the Journal of his tour to see the Corsican leader Pascal Paoli in 1765. This edition, unlike so
many reprints of just the Journal, allows the reader to appreciate Boswell's original design.
The young and adventuresome Boswell wanted to write a book that would swing public opinion, and perhaps the British government, to support the Corsicans in their struggle for independence. He was well aware that his English readers had but the haziest ideas about Corsica gleaned from but snatches of news in the papers. The first part would therefore provide the context within which to understand and appreciate his account of his journey to and meeting with Paoli.
The complete text also illustrates aspects of Boswell that have received less attention than they might, namely, his sense of history, his political enthusiasm for national liberty, and his scholarship. He brings to the book a solid foundation in the Classics and the law, a facility in French and Italian, and a sensitivity to writing that, as the notes show, is evident in the reworking of his manuscript. The editors' introduction and the extensive annotation point up Boswell the
scholar-assiduous, sedulous to get at the relevant sources, careful to do justice to those he disagreed with, and open about seeking and acknowledging advice. The text reveals Boswell as a serious and independent thinker and a writer committed to Corsica's independence. What he argued for and presumed was about
to be achieved is still a matter of debate in Corsica and metropolitan France.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 302
Weight: 572 g
Dimensions: 244 x 163 x 24 mm
As travel writing becomes an ever more popular subject of academic analysis, this exemplary, autorative edition of one of Boswell's first books is most timely and welcome. * Paul Baines MLR *
In their solid introduction, the editors place the work in its proper context... * Times Literary Supplement *
Besides the critical introduction, the edition is enriched with a vast array of illustrations, notes, and appendices, a textual apparatus, and two useful indexes of subjects and names. The survey of the European historical background is dense and insightful. * Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society *