Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Books on London

Memoirs & Personal Accounts


The books in this category contain personal reflections on the city of London. Social life, general description, travel and historic events are likely to be discussed, but presented as a personal account or memoir, in which the author's own experiences, observations and memories are the main focus.

A highlight of this category in the London collection is a first edition of Memoirs of Samuel Pepys. Although written from 1659 to 1669, the memoirs of the London diarist and civil servant were first deciphered and published in part in 1825. Their scope ranges from private remarks to detailed observations of 17th-century events in London, such as the plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666. Prominent names featured in the diaries include the two kings Pepys served--Charles II andJames II--as well as Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Isaac Newton and John Dryden. The only eighteenth-century work listed here is Memoirs of the Duke de Ripperda (1740). A Dutch nobleman and diplomat who spent time in Madrid as well as London, Ripperda offers his "impartial" views on the differences between their respective courts. From the nineteenth century, the collection includes a series of books by French translator and writer, Auguste-Jean-Baptiste Defauconpret, detailing his experiences of London during several visits varying in length from fifteen days to a year between 1815 and 1819. His Londres en mil huit cent dix-neuf (1820-25) is a compendium of letters remarking on the city's politics, literature, and manners in 1819. Narrative of the Residence of the Persian Princes in London (1838) recounts the experiences of James Baillie Fraser, a Scottish traveler, writer and painter--and distant relation of artist Claude Lovat Fraser--who in 1835 and 1836 was appointed to look after the exiled Persian princes during their stay in London. Another nineteenth-century memoir of note is Edmund Hodgson Yates's Fifty Years of London Life, written when he came to the conclusion that London is really a city for people in their youth and, as he could no longer claim to be in that state, it was time for him to leave. Lastly, from the twentieth century, Bryn Mawr owns A Londoner's Log-book (1902) by George William Erskine Russell--writer, raconteur and member of parliament--and So Little Disillusion: An American Correspondent in Paris and London, 1924-1931 (1983) by American journalist and radio broadcaster Paul Shinkman.


Defauconpret, A.-J.-B. (Auguste-Jean-Baptiste), 1767-1843
Londres en mil huit cent dix-neuf : ou, Recueil de lettres sur la politique, la litterature et les moeurs, ecrites de Londres dans le cours de l'annee 1819 / par l'auteur d'une annee a Londres [i.e. A.J.B. Defauconpret]
Paris : Gide fils, 1820-25
DA688 .D38 1820

Defauconpret, A.-J.-B. (Auguste-Jean-Baptiste), 1767-1843
Quinze jours a Londres a la fin de 1815 / par M. * * * [i.e. A.J.B. Defauconpret]
Paris : A. Eymery [et] Delaunay, 1817
DA688 .D31 1817

Defauconpret, A.-J.-B. (Auguste-Jean-Baptiste), 1767-1843
Six mois a Londres en 1816 : suite de l'ouvrage ayant pour titre Quinze jours Londres a la fin de 1815 / par le meme auteur [i.e. A.J.B. Defauconpret]
Paris : A. Eymery [et] Delaunay, 1817
DA688 .D36 1817

Defauconpret, A.-J.-B. (Auguste-Jean-Baptiste), 1767-1843
Six semaines en Hotel Garni a Londres : ouvrage traduit de l'anglois / par L'Auteur de Quinze jours et de Six mois s Londres [i.e. A.J.B. Defauconpret] ; avec des notes du traducteur
Paris : Gide fils et Nicolle, 1817
DA688 .D37 1817

Defauconpret, A.-J.-B. (Auguste-Jean-Baptiste), 1767-1843
Une annee a Londres / par l'auteur de Quinze jours et de six mois a Londres [i.e. A.J.B. Defauconpret]
Paris : Gide, 1819
DA688 .D35 1819

Fraser, James Baillie, 1783-1856
Narrative of the residence of the Persian Princes in London : in 1835 and 1836, with an account of their Journey from Persia ..
London : Richard Bentley, 1838
Uncat 8627

Jefferies, Richard, 1848-1887
Richard Jefferies' London; edited, with an introduction and notes, by Samuel J. Looker; illustrations specially drawn by E. E. Briscoe
London, Redhill, Lutterworth Press [1944]
DA683 .J46 1944

Pepys, Samuel, 1633-1703
Memoirs of Samuel Pepys ... / Edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke
London : H. Colburn, 1825

Ripperda, Joan Willem van, duque, d. 1737
Memoirs of the Duke de Ripperda : first embassador from the States-General to his Most Catholick Majesty, then duke and grandee of Spain; afterwards bashaw and prime minister to Muly Abdalla, emperor of Fez and Morocco, &c. containing a succinct account of the most remarkable events which happen'd between 1715 and 1736 ... As also a distinct and impartial detail of the differences between the courts of London and Madrid; with many authentick memorials, and other valuable papers ..
London : J. Stagg [etc.], 1740
946.055 R48

Russell, George William Erskine, 1853-1919
A Londoner's log-book, 1901-1902, by the author of Collections and recollections
London, Smith, Elder, & co., 1902
PR5271.R5 L6 1902

Shinkman, Paul, 1897-
So little disillusion : an American correspondent in Paris and London, 1924-1931 / edited by Elizabeth Benn Shinkman
McLean, Va. : EPM Publications, c1983
PN4874.S476 A37 1983

Yates, Edmund Hodgson, 1831-1894
Fifty years of London life; memoirs of a man of the world, by Edmund Yates .
New York, Harper & brothers, 1885
PR5899.Y3 A83 1885

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