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RICHARD ROUSE BOUGHTON ORLEBAR Listings

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1 RICHARD ROUSE BOUGHTON ORLEBAR 1890 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT TRAVEL DIARY BY A CONTRARY, CRITICAL, XENOPHOBIC ENGLISH MAN
CHARING CROSS TO TORINO ROME ITALY 1890 Good 
On offer is an interesting manuscript relic of late 19th Century travel and xenophobia handwritten by Richard Rouse-Boughton Orlebar [R. R.-B. Orlebar] (1862-1950) of Hinwick House, near Wellingborough, Bedfordshire on an extended trip to Italy. The largish, 8.5 x 7 inch cloth bound book has 54 pages of detailed observations and entries. Beginning at Charing Cross January 15th 1890 Orlebar is not shy to criticize: 'I revile the luggage registering official at Charing Cross', the landscape 'how hideously ugly France seemed', the locals in Basle 'capacious…dirty…swarm of porters', to the old lady who scowled at him 'for the rather profuse [amount of luggage] to the unaccustomed eye'. He also notes; awaking a 'strong John Bull feeling' in him. In Basle it is too dark to see anything but the 'fine station', with its 'villainous lot of porters'. In Italy, he is appalled 'by the nauseous abundance of olive oil', and 'the habits of certain natives [...] eating macaroni with their fingers, dangling it on high as it flapped against their eye teeth. The women were as bad as the men. Eugh! John Bull for ever.' While fulminating against the 'eccentricities of Italian railways' he declares that 'verily there is much need for warning wherever the spur of the Englishman doesnt penetrate deeply enough'. Where the natives 'are left to their own unhappy devices civilization is sure to suffer'. He finds this view confirmed on the discovery that his wife's pocket has been picked in Rome, and that he himself has lost 'a friendly walking stick, & a still more friendly knife that B had given me 10 years ago'. Embarking at Brindisi they discover Sir Greville Smyth 'at the head of the gangway'. The feel they are 'almost like getting home again', until they discover that 'a 4th. being had been made happy in Italy that day through having obtained unlawful possession of one of the straps off a Gladstone bag - that most willing & suffering of all articles of baggage - but to whom a strap is as invaluable as a belt to an over hungry man.' Matters are more to Orlebar's satisfaction on board ship, until he discovers 'sand from those villainous Italian Railways' inside his portmanteau' - the culprit is revealed as an open mustard tin.` Even the ancient Romans had to bear his ill will at times. Orlebar though can be quite charming as a writer with many nice turns-of-phrase and when all is well and there aren't other people around he can be quite tolerant. The travel diary is further enhanced with his tucked in drawing of Aden Harbor [2], Cape St. Vincent and Valleta, Historians and researchers of the era and overland European travel may well relish a 'contrary' diarist who is not afraid to 'dish'. BIO NOTES: One online reference finds: 'Richard Rouse Boughton Orlebar born 1862 married 1889 died1950. Was a Captain in the 5 Bt Bedfordshire Regiment 1904-1912. Lt Col 5th Bt (Res) 1915-1918 mentioned in Despatches. Hon Lt Col TF (Res) from 1918. Lived at Hinwick House near Wellingborough. Appointed a JP in 1911. Listed in Kelly's Handbook, funeral notice in The Times says the funeral was at St Mary's Podington.' The book proper has some bend to the cover, curl to the tips and rubbing but the interior is very good otherwise. Overall G. 
Price: 2385.99 USD
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