Letters from London

AUSTIN, William. Letters from London.

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Machiavel would probably think it a national virtue to hate or despise all other people, but the English have improved on this. They undervalue their own fellow subjects as much as they do foreigners.

AUSTIN, William. Letters from London. Boston, Printed for W. Pelham, 1804.

8vo. Full brown mottled calf, gilt banded spine with spine label reading 'Austin's Letters'; pp. [iv], 312; covers worn, offsetting throughout, torn corner on page 224, past owner signature dated 1808 to title page, a legible and sturdy reading copy.
A collection of letters complaining about England, written by Austin to a friend back in the United States. An odd book in that the jokes have only become funnier with age, from an analysis of door knocking (a milkman may not rap on your door as many times as a gentleman) to a guide on how to engage the English in dinner conversation without being turfed out into the street. Mostly scathing, with an occasional touch of wry affection when talking about the skeletons hanging in Hyde Park, Austin paints a grisly, compellng picture of London in the early 1800s.