Journal of a party of pleasure to Paris in the month of August, 1802

Sir John Dean Paul (1775-1852) was an English Neo-Classical artist, specializing in bucolic scenes and horses. He became the first Baronet of Rodborough in 1821. His son, Sir John Dean Paul (1802-1868), was involved in the banking firm Strahan, Paul & Co, and was best known for being convicted of fraud in 1855.

In 1802, he anonymously published the book Journal of a party of pleasure to Paris in the month of August, 1802: by which any person intending to take such a journey may form an accurate idea of the expence that would attend it, and the amusement he would probably receive : together with thirteen views from nature, illustrative of French scenery. The book includes very detailed information about prices for meals and shelter, and the distances required to travel between places; it also includes several of the author's sketches. Most famously, it contains what is generally believed to be the first description of the waltz.

Call number: G8380

Title page

Journal of a pleasure party to Paris in the month of August, 1802: by which any person intending to take such a journey may form an accurate idea of the expence that would attend it, and the amusement he would probably receive : together with thirteen views from nature, illustrative of French scenery: Aquatinted by J. Hill, from drawings by the author. London: Printed by A. Strahan, Printers-Street, for T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1802.

page 48

At night we went to Tivoli, another entertainment, somewhat similar to Frescati, but not so elegant, though on a much larger scale, entirely in the open air. Every kind of diversion was going forward; in one place musick, in another ombres chinoises [French: Chinese shadows, i.e., shadow theatre], at a third tumbling, at a certain hour fire-works of the most brilliant description, and in the midst of the whole, dancing, on a very large floored space. But the dance was of so curious a nature that I must describe it. It is called a Valtse [i.e., waltz], and it was there danced by about two hundred couple, to a tune extremely slow, and they keep turning each other round and round, till they have completed the circle of the whole platform, in the manner of the sketch here presented. But this can only give a faint idea of it, the attitudes of the women are tasteful and sportive, to say no more of them, but of the men I can say nothing, they were so dirty and vulgar that they only excited disgust; this dance, though very amusing to the lookers on, and doubtless to the performers, will, I think, never become the fashion in England.

Illustration of people waltzing

La Valse.

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