Diary of a Visit to England in 1775, by an Irishman
Diary of a Visit to England in 1775, by an Irishman

CAMPBELL, Thomas. Edited by Samuel Raymond. Diary of a Visit to England in 1775, by an Irishman.

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CAMPBELL, Thomas. Edited by Samuel Raymond. Diary of a Visit to England in 1775, by an Irishman. Sydney, Waugh and Cox, 1854.

Small 8vo. Original red cloth; front board lettered in gilt; pp. [ii], x, 167, one page with lithographic facsimile of the original manuscript; slight fading to cloth with some light marks; contemporary inscription to front fly-leaf; occasional light spotting throughout; a good copy of this scarce text.
First edition. This work was found 'in its dusty hiding place, in one of the offices of the Supreme Court of New South Wales' (Preface). Raymond writes in the preface of the rarity of Dr Thomas Campbell's manuscript diary of his travels to London in 1775, and subsequently to Paris in 1787. Campbell includes in his diary his encounters with Dr. Johnson: 'on further acquaintance, the great Lexicographer appears to have grown in [Campbell's] estimation; and it is clear that they not only met frequently during the spring of 1775, but were in communication with each other, during two subsequent visits' (Preface), and this friendship is reflected in Campbell's own writing. There is no clue how and why this manuscript ended upo in Australia. The Irish Protestant minister Campbell recalls many convivial meeting with both Biswell and Dr Johnson. 'Campbell was, according to Boswell, 'so good humoured a man … and so thankful for any civilities … that he was quite like a pet sheep' ... But in later years numerous requests to preach special charity sermons show he was recognized as one of the best pulpit orators in Ireland … Although the second visit in 1776–7 appears to have been the longest, the 1775 trip is the only one for which there is a detailed account. The most valuable aspect is his portrayal of his days with Dr Johnson and his circle including the Thrales, Boswell, and Joshua Reynolds. Campbell was a shrewd, somewhat contemptuous observer (ODNB).
However, it is for Boswell's portrait and for his 1775 diary, written during his visit to London, that Campbell is best remembered.
Provenance: Presentation inscription by the editor to G. H. Fitzroy, dated Sydney, December 1854.

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