Journals 10.1 – Loiterings in Europe by John Corson (Part 1)

Windows into History

Monet The Seine near Giverny in Normandy, as painted by Claude Monet (1897)

In 1848 Loiterings in Europe was published by Harper & Brothers, New York. Subtitled Sketches of Travel in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, and Ireland, it was written by John W. Corson, MD. It is a magnificent travel journal, and I will explain why: I would estimate that 99% of journals from around this time are little more than emotionless descriptions of landmarks. It is a rarity to find an author who really engaged with the experience of travel and wrote with some depth of feeling, and Corson was one such author. This was Corson’s only book, and that is a great shame.

I always like to provide a little bit of background about journal authors, but this one was a hard nut to crack. Shock, horror, he has no Wikipedia page (that’s a…

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