See, for example, Sara Mills, Discourses of Difference:
An Analysis of Women's Travel Writing and Colonialism;
Sara Suleri, The Rhetoric of English India; Tim Fulford
and Peter Kitson, eds., Romanticism and Colonialism;
and Nigel Leask, Curiosity and Aesthetics of Travel Writing,
See Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and
See, for example, Pratt and Elizabeth Bohls, Women
Travel Writers and the Language of Landscape Aesthetics, 1716-1818,
on these rhetorical strategies of the Romantic traveler
Among the first such studies were Percy Adams, Travelers
and Travel Liars, 1660-1800 and Jonathan Livingstone Lowe,
The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination.
Extracts from Williams's journal have been published in my
essay, "Sporting Sketches during a Short Stay in Hindustane:
Bodleian MS Shelley adds.e.21 and Travel Literature in the
Shelley Circle," published in Romanticism 4:2 (Fall
1998): 174-188. The textual summary presented here was first
published in Romanticism and is reproduced here by
kind permission of the editor.
The collation of the notebook is I-XI12 (132 leaves), plus
flyleaves front and back (pp. i-ii and 265-6) conjoint with
the respective pastedown end-papers, for an original ii+266
pages. Leaves measure 18.5 x 11.9 cm. For permission to consult
with MS Shelley adds.e.21 and adds.c.12, I gratefully acknowledge
the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
This stamp on the notebook advertises William Heather's establishment
at 157 Leadenhall Street, London. The listing of his navigation
warehouse at this address can be confirmed from 1805-7. See
Holden's Triennial Directory for 1805, 1806, and 1807.
Although the Bodleian Library's Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval
Western Manuscripts identifies the illustrated frontispiece
as Trelawny's work (II, 1151), this is almost certainly incorrect.
Williams's sketches and watercolors in the Keats-Shelley Association
collection (Bodleian Dep.b.159) resemble the illustrated title
page of "Sporting Sketches" in several characteristic ways.
The fine hatching of the ink design and the foliage patterns
are particularly distinctive; most importantly, the title-page
of the Bodleian manuscript suggests a formal training in drawing
that Trelawny did not have. My thanks to Dr. Bruce C. Barker-Benfield
for his assistance here and for his generous suggestions on
other textual matters; this textual summary also owes much
to the attentive eye of Professor Donald H. Reiman, whom I
gratefully acknowledge; any errors are, of course, my own.
The positive location of the Williams notebook after 1832
has not been established, although it is likely that Trelawny
retained possession of the manuscript until his death in 1881.
Donald H. Reiman notes that the journal emerges again in the
1920 H. Buxton Forman sale of eight of Williams's notebooks,
and the journal was bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1961 by
Sir John Shelley-Rolls. See Shelley and His Circle: 1773-1822,
Kenneth Neill Cameron and Donald H. Reiman, eds., VI, 832.
Although the manuscript pagination is irregular, it has been
retained for the sake of consistency in all quotations here.
This pagination in the notebook appears to have been done
by Sir John Shelley-Rolls, although certain additions were
made to unnumbered blanks when the Bodleian Library acquired
the manuscript. As it stands, the pagination in the manuscript
begins on the front flyleaf, which contains Williams's illustrated
frontispiece (MS 3) and an original blank (MS
4), to which has been added a lightly penciled aphorism concerning
lions. Page 1a is a twentieth-century typed addition identifying
the important contents of the manuscript; page 2a is a twentieth-century
typed transcription, with several errors, of manuscript page
157. Pages 1b and 2b are blank. Separating Williams' and Trelawny's
entries is a blank page 116, and the back end-paper has been
numbered (MS 259). The first, fifth, and eighth leaves
are missing from the seventh quire; offsets throughout this
gathering also indicate that the leaf paginated 151/2 was
numbered out of order and that it should be placed between
pages 164 and 165. The eleventh and twelfth leaves are missing
from the final quire, as is the back flyleaf.
William St Clair, in Trelawny: The Incurable Romancer,
suggests Mrs. Beauclerc's ball as a possible occasion (51).
Both hands can be identified as Trelawny's on the basis of
his correspondence with Mary Shelley (Bodleian Dep.c.510).
Extant letters also confirm that neither Thomas Medwin nor
Jane Williams are possible authors (Bodleian Dep.b.211 and
St Clair's biography of Trelawny contains several brief transcriptions
from the Bodleian notebook. Among these transcriptions are
two passages that St Clair identifies as letters to Trelawny
from Mary Shelley (MS, 153-4) and Claire Clairmont
(MS, 155-6). St Clair suggests that the letters are
responses to marriage proposals that Trelawny may have made
to the two women in 1828. See Trelawny, 130-32. Shelley's
and Clairmont's most recent editors seem to agree; Mary's
letter is included in Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,
ed. Betty T. Bennett, II, 140; Claire's letter is available
in The Clairmont Correspondence, ed. Marion Kingston
Stocking, I, 258-9.
This insert (MS, 1a) identifies the Williams notebook
as "a record of Travel and Adventure in India and is partly
in the hand of Williams and partly in his wife's hand. She
was a sister of Gen. John Wheeler Cleveland of the Madras
Army." Unable to divorce her brutal husband, John Johnson,
Jane (née Cleveland) lived with Williams as his wife from
1818 until his death.
The largest part of the biographical work on Edward Williams
has been done by Frederick L. Jones in his edition of Williams's
1821-22 journal, Maria Gisborne and Edward E. Williams:
Shelley's Friends, and by Donald H. Reiman in volumes
V and VI of Shelley and His Circle. In several instances
biographical accounts and dates disagree. Reiman suggests
28 May 1818 as the date of Williams's retirement and, in his
recourse to Robert Murray's History of the VIII King's
Royal Irish Hussars, 1693-1927, is probably working from
the more reliable source. Jones suggests 30 December 1816
and refers his readers to Trelawny's Records of Shelley,
Byron, and the Author (1878). Regardless, by 1819 Edward
and Jane Williams had moved from England to the Continent,
as Edward's private journal of that year attests (Pforzheimer
MS, SC 525).
According to the Bodleian Library's Summary Catalogue,
these are "notes by Trelawney [sic] on the hyena, removed
from 52624 [MS Shelley adds.e.21]. . . . Bequeathed by Sir
John Shelley-Rolls, received 1961" (II, 1152). The attribution
of this work to Trelawny is clearly incorrect, as both the
hand and the subject are distinctly Williams's. The manuscript
is a single folded sheet, measuring 21.3 x 18.5 cm, with the
watermark JW 1815 running length-wise. A transcription of
adds.c.12 has been appended to this electronic edition.
See H. Buxton Forman's Life of Shelley, 310.
For Shelley's criticisms of Medwin's poems, with particular
reference to the explanatory notes, see his letter of 16 April
1820, in Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley, II, 183-4.