Letters Describing a Tour through Part of South Wales by a Pedestrian Traveller, with Views, Designed and Etched by the Author

Name of traveller

Armand-Louis-Bon Maudet, Comte de Penhouët (1764-1839)

Reason for travel

  • in exile because of French Revolution

Date of travel

June 1796

Their language, which, for the first time struck my ear so freely, the conformity of manners between these good people and those of Lower Brittany, all increased the illusion - and I believed myself for a moment in my own country. (Penhouët 29-30)


  • agriculture: importance of sheep farming
  • architecture:
    • description of various ruined castles and churches
    • castle ruins compared to fairy-tale settings
    • description of women regularly whitening the walls of their cottages
  • art: contains a number of sketches by the author
  • customs:
    • remarks on the similarity between Welsh and Breton cultures
    • some notes on local superstitions
    • some instances of women breast-feeding in public
  • diet: comparison of a local type of oat bread with galette, a Breton peasant dish
  • history:
    • first settlement of Britain by the Welsh
    • notes Welsh pride in their history
  • industry: early signs of industrial iron production in south Wales
  • language: comparison of Welsh and Breton
  • people:
    • letters addressed to an unidentified lady correspondent in London
    • disturbed by signs of great poverty and begging women in Neath
  • recreation:
    • touristic exploration of south Wales with the help of local guides
    • great variety in the quality of south Wales inns
    • touristic exploration of country estates
    • addresses Swansea's ideal location for sea bathing
  • terrain:
    • comparison of Wales to Switzerland and Asia Minor
    • south Wales landscapes inviting for people interested in the picturesque and the sublime
    • scarce population, but fertile land with a generally rural, solitary character
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: on foot
    • is of the opinion that travel by stage coach does not allow for thorough exploration and appreciation of the landscape
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Nationality of traveller

Breton, French

Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

illustrated travelogue; letter


Penhouët, Armand-Louis-Bon M. Letters Describing a Tour through Part of South Wales: by a Pedestrian Traveller. With Views, Designed and Etched by the Author. London: Printed by T. Baylis, Greville-Street, 1797. Print.