The diary of Malthus's Scandinavian tour, which forms the main part of this book, was discovered in 1961 by Mr Robert Malthus, a surviving family member. It has been transcribed and edited by Patricia James. The journals reveal Malthus as a lively and entertaining travelling companion and an amusing observer of the social scene. There is a good deal about food and drink, pretty girls and eccentric men; there are close accounts of social habits, descriptions of country scenes, villages, towns and libraries and reflections on wages, prices, trade and occupations of the people as well as on marriage and population. James provides notes to the text and a good biographical introduction. Social and economic historians will clearly need this book; but above all it can be read as an engaging personal record of an eager traveller.
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