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Forrest, John Henry, 1816-1901.

Diary of John Henry Forrest.

1841 October 10-1842 June 11.
Physical Description:
1 v. (209 p.) ; 30 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process D919.F67 J68 1841+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
John Henry Forrest (1816-1901) and was a member of the 11th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, later 11th Hussars, Prince Albert's Own, “The Cherry Pickers.” He progressed through the ranks from cornet in 1833, to captain in 1839, and retired in March 1847.
Bound in contemporary maroon half morocco and maroon cloth; rebacked.
Manuscript diary of Captain John Henry Forrest, covering the period from 10 October 1841 to 11 June 1842. In the journal, Forrest recalls the events of travels with his wife through the Low Countries, Prussia, Switzerland, the south of France, Genoa, Naples, Rome, and thence back home via France. The volume ends with a two-page itinerary listing every town visited, with distances, type of transport, time taken, names and quality of the hotels.
Forrest is varyingly observant, critical, and complimentary, commenting on the attractions of the towns and sights he sees as well as the conditions and scenery in the countryside. A particularly interesting aspect is the strong military commentary, with details of foreign regiments, barracks, fortifications, numbers, and detailed description of uniforms, weaponry, and particular emphasis on the condition of cavalry regiments, saddlery, and horses. In this regard he makes a visit to the Waterloo battle site and meets a former commandant in Napoleon's personal guard who describes the conditions and reasons for the defeat in Russia and Ney's responsibility for the defeat at Quatre Bras: "... [he] told me Napoleon should only have remained three days at Moscow. He described the fighting at the Bridge of Beresina ... I think he said they lost 10,000 men one day by the cold ..."
Forrest is clearly well connected and mentions a distant relationship with Lord Liverpool. He attends a royal levee of the King of Naples, and a ball at the British embassy in Paris. Also in Paris, Forrest goes horse racing, and describes the carnival atmosphere for the king's birthday. There is a graphic description of a descent into the smouldering crater of Vesuvius, as well as lurid details of the interrogation and torture chambers in the palace of the popes in Avignon, used in both the Inquisition and the French Revolution: “The stains of their blood is to be seen on the walls in quantities more as if oxen had been slaughtered there.”
Subject Terms:
Belgium -- Description and travel.
Forrest, John Henry, 1816-1901. -- Diaries.
France -- Description and travel.
Grand tours (Education)
Great Britain. Army -- Officers -- Diaries.
Italy -- Description and travel.
Switzerland -- Description and travel.
Travelers' writings, English.

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