CARR, Sir John (1772–1832). A Northern Summer; or Travels round the Baltic, through Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Prussia, and Part of Germany, in the Year 1804. London: Printed for Richard Phillips, 1805.
4to., (10 4/8 x 8 4/8 inches). 4-page publisher's advertisements at end (previous ownership information neatly excised from the title-page). One folding sepia aquatint panorama of St. Petersburg (tape repairs to verso) and 10 full-page sepia aquatints of views. Modern half ochre calf, marbled paper boards, gilt.
First edition. Carr "gave up the law to travel for health reasons and published accounts illustrated by his own sketches of his journeys in various European countries. After the success of The Stranger in Paris (1803) he published A Northern Summer (1805) and The Stranger in Ireland (1806), soon after which he was knighted by the duke of Bedford, then viceroy of Ireland. A Tour through Holland followed in 1807. The rapidity with which he turned out his books and their superficiality began to attract comment and earned him the nickname ‘the jaunting car’. In 1807 his Irish book was satirized by Edward Dubois in My pocket-book, or, Hints for a ‘ryghte merrie and conceitede’ tour, in quarto, to be called, ‘The stranger in Ireland’. For this satire the publishers were prosecuted in 1809. Dubois had mocked not only the style of Carr's books but also their profitability to Carr and his publishers and the trial revealed that Carr had received £1900 for his four travel books. Carr lost his case. Undeterred by Dubois's satire, in 1808 he published Caledonian Sketches which in turn became the subject of a witty review by Sir Walter Scott in the Quarterly Review. His last travel book, Descriptive Travels in … Spain, appeared in 1811. Lord Byron, who had met Carr in Cadiz, refers to him in some suppressed stanzas of canto 1 of Childe Harolde as ‘Green Erin's knight and Europe's wandering star’. Carr also published two volumes of poetry and a play. In 1811 he married an heiress in Essex. He became depressed following her death and himself died, at his home, New Norfolk Street, London, on 17 July 1832. His books have little merit and, although they gained a wide circulation in his lifetime because of their light style and the fact that there was then little competition in the genre, they soon fell into well-deserved obscurity" (T. F. Henderson, rev. Elizabeth Baigent for DNB). Abbey, Travel, 73.