Impressions of England

Name of traveller

Edouard Comte de Melfort, his wife and children

Reason for travel

  • tavelling as cultural tourist
  • hunting for sport

Date of travel

undated, ca. early to mid 1830s

A few houses assumed the dignity of a village, and was called Bwlch---(try to pronounce that word, it is pure Welsh, and signifies, I believe, passage or bridge). About a mile beyond our house on the right was a large lake, bordered by woods and scattered farms; and it was there that I promised myself much sport. (Melfort 168)


  • agriculture:
    • the local minister also manages his own farm
    • fields are divided by hedgerows and shut by gates
  • architecture: red tiles used for roofs on small cottages
  • art: contains an illustration depicting the shooting accident
  • history:
    • antiquity of Wales reflected in the bardic tradition
    • conflation of Welsh and English history, despite recognising the Welsh and English people as distinct from one another
    • the history of Wales related as a tale of conquest under Edward I (1239-1307)
  • industry:
    • night sky near Crickhowell tinted red by the fire issuing from the ironworks at two miles distance
    • likens the sight of the industrial fires at night in the unidentified village to scenes from hell and Vesuvius
  • language: according to an editorial note in volume 2, de Melfort's letters were translated from the original French
  • people:
    • travels with his wife and children
    • letters addressed to 'Augustus', a former military friend from the south of France
    • is tended to after the shooting accident by a young doctor from Brecon, Mr Pendrill, the only named person in the letters
    • a beggar girl steals one of his silver spoons, but he refrains from pressing charges because he does not want the girl to be hanged
  • recreation:
    • originally intended to stay at a shooting-box, a country house set up for hunting parties, on recommendation of a friend in London, but on arrival the place turned out to be deserted
    • obtains permission for grouse-shooting from the 'Duke of B---', presumably Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort (1766–1835); detailed description of the hunt; goes angling and sailing on a lake
    • arrival of a great number sport hunters in Crickhowell during grouse season; the landlady of the only inn in Crickhowel increases her rates accordingly
    • accidentally shoots himself
  • terrain:
    • in praise of the picturesque views of the Wye and the surrounding rural landscape
    • impressed by the melancholy stillness and general beauty of the hilly landscape around Crickhowell
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: on foot; horse; phaeton; small sail boat
    • finds the roads and turnpikes in good condition and defends the payment of tolls as an economical system
    • finds the country road between Crickhowell and Brecon very winding, but in good condition
  • German translation: Bilder aus England. Trans. E. Brinkmeier. Vol. 1. Leipzig: Theodor Fischer, 1837. 152-200. Print.
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Nationality of traveller


Language of publication

English, translated from letters originally written in French; German translation

Gender of traveller

Male, Female

Type of publication

letters; travelogue


Melfort, Edouard de. Impressions of England. Vol. 1. London: Richard Bentley, 1836. 152-99. Print.