"Une Visite aux Grandes Usines du Pays de Galles"

Name of traveller

Louis Simonin (1830-1886), Jean-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager (1814-1879) and M. L.

Reason for travel

  • study of industrial features in south Wales

Date of travel


Les femmes du pays de Galles, au chapeau de feutre noir, élevé, roide, rappelant de tout point, sauf une hauteur plus grande encore, celui des hommes, cette affreuse coiffure dont nous ne pouvons parvenir à nous débarrasser depuis que la mode nous l’a imposée vers la fin du dernier siècle, nous apparurent là dans toute l’excentricité de leur costume primitif. (Simonin 323)


  • art: contains great number of copperplate etchings with industrial townscapes and portraits
  • clothing:
    • description of women's clothes and strangeness of their tall hats
    • description of female industrial worker's clothes
  • customs: survival of harp and eisteddfodau
  • industry:
    • France cannot compete with British industry for lack of similar advantageous distribution of natural resources and infrastructure
    • industry shapes character of towns in south Wales
    • notes close coal trade connections with France and internationally
    • success of south Wales metallurgical industries founded on Welsh coal
    • factory owners suspicious of industrial espionage; technical descriptions
    • general proplem of pollution and impact on health
    • struck by raging poverty even though there is a lot of work readily available
    • description of women working in pits and mines; child labour
    • description of Merthyr illuminated at night by forges
  • language:
    • real Wales to be found in rural districts to the west, still some monoglot Welsh
    • Welsh language is doomed because not fit for modern world
    • discussion of Welsh grammar
  • literature: description of eisteddfod based on account by Alphonse Esquiros (1812-1876)
  • recreation: Swansea no longer popular with the English as place for sea bathing, because of industrialisation
  • people:
    • journey undertaken together with the painter and illustrator Jean-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager (1814-1879) and one of his students, M. L.
    • struck by dirt and poverty of working class population in industrial towns across south Wales
  • terrain:
    • picturesque coastal landscapes and towns, rural stretches between centres of industry
    • deforestation owing to industry
    • notes it is nearly always raining
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: stage coach, steam boat and train
    • states that industrialisation is good for transport connections, as there are railways everywhere
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Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

illustrated essay; travelogue


Simonin, L[ouis]. "Une Visite aux Grandes Usines du Pays de Galles." Le Tour du Monde 11 (1865): 321-352. Print.