by Wade, William D.
February 19 to October 13, 1870. 3 volumes, small folio, approx. 250 pages, approx. 65,000 words, in ink; contemporary gilt-stamped full calf; contains a very useful index with places visited, dates of travel, with volume number and page number in volume I; also 4 cartes de visite of the four tourists, William D. Wade, Emma C. Wade, Emilie B. Pratt, and Louis Heicher, apparently taken in Munich by the studio photographer, M. Possenbacher. Volume I scuffed and worn, especially the spine; volumes II and III are better; all bindings sound, and the penmanship quite legible. Brooklynite William Dwight Wade (b.1847) embarked on the grand tour with his sister, Emma Cleveland Wade (b.1844), and his cousin, Emilie Brace Pratt (b.1850). They were also accompanied by an older friend and "courier," who served as general travel agent, escort, and facilitator, Louis Heicher. The journey took place on the brink of the The Franco-Prussian War; the war which saw the Siege of Paris and led to the establishment of the German Empire. William Wade, a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and later brass manufacturer and manufacturer of printing inks, is a writer very much of his era. His prose is formal but replete with colorful description, and, of course, the party hit all the required classical highlights of the continent. By the late 19th century the Grand Tour would become an essentially American phenomenon. During the Gilded Age, America's upper classes and merchant classes traveled the world visiting the great European cities and the ancient sites of the Mediterranean, as part of a Grand Tour, collecting and honoring their western cultural heritage. In 1867 Mark Twain took a sort of Cook's tour to Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, sending back dispatches to Alta California, a San Francisco paper that sponsored his trip. Later, his dispatches were published in a subscription book, The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims Progress. Within its first year, the book sold over 70,000 copies, and remained the best-selling of Twain's books throughout his lifetime. As the 19th century progressed many Americans ventured out following Twain's Grand Tour experience. William Randolph Hearst took his first Grand Tour at the age of 10 in 1873, spending a year and a half traveling and beginning a habit of collecting. After debarking the Ville de Paris (Capt. Hilliard master, a steamship of a French Line) at Havre, the Wades began to sightsee their way across France. Of Paris: "Anticipating a return to the renowned City later in our travels, we decided to take the few days which we now proposed to spend in our easy manner, acquainting ourselves with the capital in general, securing a courier, and preparing for the flight southward, ere the Italian skies became too fervent in their greeting. While the Franco-Prussian War prevented the consummation of this later plan, and from some points of view our decision was a mistake. Yet, we can feel that after all we have nothing to regret. We saw Paris in all its Imperial splendor, the Tuileries with Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie in residence." Volume I describes France and Italy, Volume II is Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and back through Germany. Volume III covers Holland, Belgium, England, Scotland, and thence to Liverpool for a return voyage on the Russia. Among the cities visited are Antwerp, Baden Baden, Bath, Bellagio, Brussels, Bristol, Brighton, Como, Cologne, Cork, Canterbury, Chatsworth, Dresden, Derby, Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, Frankfurt, Genoa, Glasgow, Giants Causeway, Heidelberg, The Hague, Innsbruck, Killarney, Lyons, Leghorn, Lucino, Lucerne, London, Loch Lomand, Leeds, Lausanne, Marseilles, Munich, Milan, Lake Maggiore, Nice, Naples, Nuremberg, Nottingham, Oxford, Paris, Pisa, Padua, Potsdam, Pompeii, Rome, Sorrento, Strassburg, Stuttgart, Stratford-on-Avon, Salisbury, Trieste, Venice, Vienna, Verona, York and Zurich, among many others. In Berlin: "We found that our visit to Berlin had been timed most auspiciously, for the Emperor of Russia was passing a few days in the Prussian capital on his way to Erus and was to review the troops... We accordingly chartered a carriage for the day...at a shop upon the Linden we saw a cabriolet approaching at a rapid pace...we found it was occupied by the venerable King and his Imperial guest. They honored us with military salutes and we felt that seldom were two fine looking men seen together than grand old King William and the majestic Czar of all the Russias ... We watched a mock battle, a sight both novel and exciting. Little did we dream when we saw these Prussian troops maneuvering on that field of peace that in a few weeks they would move to the front to engage in battle in earnest." There are too many fascinating incidents to include in a brief review, but one representative incident took place "at the hospice on the summit (of Grunisel (?) mountain in Germany) on which we proposed to spend the night. Our cavalcade consisted of P. A. leading Miss P's horse, a native leading Miss W's horse, and a wicked looking bay horse leading the writer. The road (if it could be dignified by that name) was in the worst possible condition, and besides being nearly perpendicular, had a most unpleasant feature in the shape of abrupt turns in reverse directions...we finally agreed that a Wall Street corner was less dangerous to the uninitiated than a Gruinsel one." One of the guides lost his hat and abandoned Pegasus, Emma's horse, to give pursuit. Free of restraint, "Pegasus gave a grunt of delight...and then began a rotary motion which was anything but encouraging to the fair rider ... O! how fondly Emma wished that she was trotting gently o'er the summit of Breeze Hill...before she joined a party of reckless adventurers. How the writer reproached himself for bringing two frail feminine necks into such imminent danger of dislocation ... We reach the summit only to find vast fields of snow and ice. As it is said to be too dangerous to ride over these, we dismount, and ankle deep in snow, take up our march for the hospice." This was followed by new adventures on the next day's return trip, with the horses slipping and sliding in the snow "where a misstep would have hurled us six thousand feet into the valley below." A most interesting and lengthy example, comprising three full volumes of a nineteenth-century travel diary. The Wade siblings' parents were Horace Dwight Wade (1818-1873) and Lucy Coit Huntington Pratt. Horace Wade was a druggist in Brooklyn; evidently there was sufficient family money to finance such a long and expensive experience on the continent for their children.
(Inventory #: 57414)