W. Kinsey diary, 1817.


  • UPenn Ms. Coll. 919
  • Diary of an Englishman, possibly W. Kinsey of Bognor Regis, England. The first nine pages of the diary are written in pencil with the remainder in ink. The journal begins on 4 July 1817 as Kinsey embarks on his trip from London, England on his way to France. In the first few pages Kinsey mentions he is traveling with a companion named Henry. Kinsey includes detailed descriptions of all his destinations. He describes the streets in large cities and small villages, activities he observes, the people, and relevant historical events or anecdotal stories. Kinsey observes the evening ritual in Paris, as people pour out of their homes crowding every street, some being entertained by jugglers. He visits major museums, cathedrals, large cities, and small villages. Highlights of his travels in France include Rouen, St. Cloud, and Lyon. At the beginning of August, Kinsey enters Switzerland, where he spends a large portion of his journey. Kinsey takes a three-day guided tour from Geneva to Marigny. After this tour Kinsey gives the reader travel advice on guided tours. He describes the valleys, the mountains, lakes, and landscape of Switzerland. In the journal Kinsey has sewn in small cut out engravings of some of the mountain areas in Switzerland. Also sewn in the journal is a folded paper strip of hand drawn, colored coats of arms representing twenty-two cities in Switzerland. By 10 September 1817 Kinsey is touring Germany and talks of the Danube and the Rhine Rivers. He visits Manheim, Cologne, and Münster, among other cities. Throughout his travels Kinsey records the hotels and inns where he stayed and the prices. He writes of the bookshops he goes to and the books and maps he buys on the journey. Kinsey also records when he posts and receives mail. By early October 1817 Kinsey returns to England. The last four leaves of the volume contain a catalog of books he has purchased and the city. A plan for a trip to Holland follows the list. On the second-to-last leaf of the volume is a colored engraving with the words "S. Vulnera Jesu," Kinsey writes: "Given by the Capuchin monk at Staatz."