An Itinerary: Containing His Ten Years Travel Through the Twelve Dominions of Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, Netherland, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Turkey, France, England, Scotland and Ireland  

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"At Cork," says Fynes Moryson, in 1617, "I have seen with these eyes young maids stark naked grinding corn with certain stones to make cakes." --Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An Itinerary: Containing His Ten Years Travel Through the Twelve Dominions of Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, Netherland, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Turkey, France, England, Scotland and Ireland (1617) is a multi-volume work by Fynes Moryson. It is of considerable value to historians as a picture of the social conditions existing in the lands he visited.

The Itinerary was originally intended to consist of five volumes; but only three were published. The fourth volume was preserved in manuscript in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1903 the bulk of the fourth volume was transcribed by Charles Hughes and published under the title "Shakespeare's Europe: Unpublished Chapters of Fynes Moryson's Itinerary. Being a survey of the condition of Europe at the end of the 16th century." Volumes I, III and IV of Moryson's Itinerary primarily cover Continental Europe and secondarily the Ottoman lands, with volume I being travel narrative and volumes III and IV being thematic discourse covering themes of customs and institutions. (Volumes III and IV also have short chapters on customs and institutions in England, Scotland and Ireland.) Volume II, on the other hand, is devoted to affairs in Ireland from 1599 to 1603.

Sometimes Moryson is a prejudiced and unreliable informant. His biographer Charles Hughes says "he had a sane charity for all men, except Turks and Irish priests", which is another way of saying that he was highly prejudicial against the Turks and is a poor source for information about them.

Online Texts

The first three volumes of Moryson's Itinerary, as republished in the year 1907, are available from Archive.org, broken up into four physical parts:

  • Itinerary 1, 2, 3 and 4

Also the fourth volume of Moryson's Itinerary, as published in 1903, is available from Archive.org. This volume is prefaced with a lengthy biography of Fynes Moryson written by Charles Hughes.




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