An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome

August, 2014
Ann Flaxman's An Uninteresting Detail of a Journey to Rome tells the story of a female Grand Tour, something quite rare, and of an extended artist's visit to Italy, something quite common. In 1787 Flaxman set out for France and Italy with her husband, the sculptor John Flaxman, and a small company of fellow travellers. During her journey and in the months that followed her arrival in Rome, Flaxman kept a perceptive and entertaining journal for the benefit of friends at home, a group that included William and Catherine Blake. Personal yet nonetheless typical of its genre, Flaxman's previously unpublished Journey serves as an excellent introduction to English travel writing just before the French Revolution, and to the late-eighteenth-century international arts scene. It also reveals the challenges and rewards of being an atypically poor traveller and an aspiring woman writer.



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