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What Literature Knows

Forays into Literary Knowledge Production

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Edited By Antje Kley and Kai Merten

This volume sheds light on the nexus between knowledge and literature. Arranged historically, contributions address both popular and canonical English and US-American writing from the early modern period to the present. They focus on how historically specific texts engage with epistemological questions in relation to material and social forms as well as representation. The authors discuss literature as a culturally embedded form of knowledge production in its own right, which deploys narrative and poetic means of exploration to establish an independent and sometimes dissident archive. The worlds that imaginary texts project are shown to open up alternative perspectives to be reckoned with in the academic articulation and public discussion of issues in economics and the sciences, identity formation and wellbeing, legal rationale and political decision-making.

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Access Denied: English Experiences in Karl Philipp Moritz’s Travel Report of 1782 (Albert Meier)

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Albert Meier

Access Denied: English Experiences in Karl Philipp Moritz’s Travel Report of 1782

(Translation by Jasper Verlinden)

Knowledge and improvements are to be got by sailing and posting for that purpose; but whether useful knowledge and real improvements is all a lottery…

Laurence Sterne

Abstract: With an exemplary reading of Moritz’s Travel Report, this essay argues that throughout the 17th and into the enlightened 18th century, national character as well as a people’s social and cultural mores had to be derived first and foremost from fiction and travel narratives. Both genres work with aesthetically and economically motivated stylizations – rather than naively ‘realistic’ or pedantically precise depictions – designed to catch and entertain readers’ interest. As Moritz’s German wanderer’s experiences are prefigured by the unreliable, heavily mediated, and consciously crafted guidance of literary writing and thus depend on his choice of literary intake, the authenticity of Moritz’s narrative of England proves to be an ultimately literary construction, which – regardless of its basic soundness of detail – makes his generalizing characterization of the country and people factually questionable.

England was not a strange land to the German reading public at the close of the 18th century. Knowledge of the cultural and geographic peculiarities on the other side of the Channel, however, was less due to the already numerous travel descriptions (e.g. travel guides; cf. Moritz, “Kommentar” 256–268) than to contemporary literature in English, which since the mid-18th century had gained an ever-broader readership. Particularly notable in this regard are, aside from the sentimental epistolary novels in the wake of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, the comically realist novels of Henry Fielding (The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling) and Oliver Goldsmith (The Vicar of Wakefield). In addition, the fashionable pastoral poetry which received attention especially in Alexander Pope’s Windsor Forest and James Thomson’s The Seasons, also played a decisive role in shaping continental perceptions.

As long as hardly anyone had the opportunity to personally observe the land and the people and to make their own experiences in situ, the social ← 65 | 66 → and cultural mores of the English population at the time, or what constituted their particular national character, had to be derived first and foremost from fiction. This poetically mediated familiarity with English customs and living conditions became even more significant when during the course of the Enlightenment, the Kingdom of Great Britain replaced France as cultural hegemon and emerged at the forefront of philosophy, literature, science, and political economy (cf. Maurer). This fictional foundation for the knowledge of the British lifeworld and its progressive character is, of course, accompanied by certain exaggerations that are more a reflection of rhetorical utility than of actual circumstances.1 After all, novels that were set in the contemporaneous present of the 18th century often practiced a form of “prosai-comi-epic writing” (Fielding 156) which, for the purpose of entertainment, had as its primary aim to “laugh mankind out of their favourite follies and vices” (Fielding LIV). As such, they were all the less inclined to offer a sober portrait of what was considered average or normal, and thus true.

The necessity of interrogating the aesthetically motivated stylizations of realistic depictions is also of concern in the then popular genre of literary travel descriptions. How to narrate concrete experiences in another country in a way that is not only informative but also pleasurable to read was exemplified by Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768), a book which was foundational to the genre. It overturned all the pedantry of more traditional depictions by means of its unheard of “freedom of wit and humour” (cf. Shaftesbury) in order to foster the individual, necessarily coincidental, and fragmentary nature of perception over precision and wholeness. Without the standard set by Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey, Karl Philipp Moritz’s successful Reisen eines Deutschen in England im Jahr 1782, which was quickly published in England as well, would not have been possible.2 Indeed, Moritz had already ← 66 | 67 → read “Yoricks empfindsame Reisen,” Johann Joachim Christoph Bode’s German translation of Sterne, “two or three times with great pleasure” in the year of its publication (Moritz, Reiser 172). While he does not adopt the poetic strategy of repeatedly and self-referentially foregrounding the narrative voice, he does, in a sense, describe the manifold genre scenes either in country inns or in parliament “with Sternian humor” (Moritz, Reiser 266) and, in doing so, is not lacking in sentimental irony.

As such, Moritz’s Reisen eines Deutschen in England im Jahr 1782 represents an early example of the style of the “individual experiential report” which was still innovative at the time, at least in the German language, and which would find its culmination in the two first volumes of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Italienische Reise (1816/17). It furthered “the trend of subjective-autotelic-sentimental travel descriptions” that were based on fact and helped in bringing reports that are primarily aimed at providing “culturally and socially critical factual information” by enlightened travelers under the purview of literary history (Jahnke and Wingertszahn 151). Technically, Moritz had been a subject of the English Crown during his school years in Hanover.3 Accordingly, he had already received an education in English from a young age and had become familiar with the major works by British authors. What the admittedly philologically questionable Englische Sprachlehre für die Deutschen (1784), which goes back to a seminar [Kollegium] held in the winter of 1781/82, primarily documents is his above-average language competence. It appears, however, that the project of a journey to England had presented itself rather spontaneously in the spring of 1782. The journey, which lasted a total of seven weeks in June and July of 1782, takes Moritz, then a teacher at the Berlin “Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster”, first from Hamburg to London (arrival on July 2) and then to Richmond, Windsor, and Oxford, mostly on foot through the Peak District. He finally returns by stagecoach via Nottingham and Northhampton to London where Moritz embarks a ship back to Hamburg on July 19.4 ← 67 | 68 →

Moritz resorted to a number of tourist resources during his travels: he used a city map for London (possibly the ‘ground plan’ from Johann Jacob Volkmann’s Neuesten Reisen), a detailed directory of regional roads (see Paterson), an “accurate map of England” (Travels 106) as well as the highly pragmatically oriented Beyträge zur Kentniß Grosbritanniens vom Jahr 1779 (1780) by Gebhard Friedrich August Wendeborn, who was a preacher at the German church in Ludgate and whom Moritz often personally visited in London. The contemporary London of the 18th century was already known, at least in basic terms, to the German literary public, specifically from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s letters from his stay there in 1774/75, which had been published in the journal Deutsches Museum in 1779. Still, the Reisen eines Deutschen in England supplement this information about the English capital by providing the first substantive representation of the peculiar mountain landscape of Derbyshire, whose natural wonders had been of interest to geologists since the late 17th century and had subsequently been discussed in numerous English-language reports. First on this list is Daniel Defoe’s often-cited “rationalistic demystification” of the cave of Castleton in A Tour thro’ the whole Island of Great Britain (1727), which at the close of the 18th century was followed by contrasting reinterpretations in “the Gothic taste” (Jahnke and Wingertszahn 287).

In order to avoid the “smoke of these sea-coal fires” in London and “to breathe a fresher and clearer air” (Travels 67), Moritz decides on the Peak District, “which is famous for its natural curiosities, and also for its romantic situation” (Travels 106f.). Better than the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, which would have been possibilities as well, Derbyshire fits within his overarching narrative strategy as a counterpoint to the big city. His strategy consists of reflecting the living conditions of the country through which he travels by way of chance experiences and by conveying to the reader impressions that – while not strictly objective – are still sufficiently authentic. To that end, everything that is characteristic is faithfully processed and represented by means of the tourist-oriented secondary literature. The House of Commons, described in joyful detail, belongs just as much to the instructive curiosities of London as the many “academies” which are of professional interest to Moritz the educator and which “notwithstanding their pompous names, […] are in reality nothing more than small schools set up by private persons, for children and young people” (Travels 80). ← 68 | 69 → On his journey to the Midlands, however, aside from the peculiar natural phenomena around Castleton, it is the repeated experience of gross “inhospitality” (Travels 161) in country inns that provide a vivid image of the customs of the people in the English province: “To what various, singular, and unaccountable fatalities and adventures are not foottravellers exposed, in this land of carriages and horses!” (Travels 139).

In contrast to the decidedly subjective individual reports from London, which refer to the travel guides on a case-by-case basis at most, the narration of his fortunes as “poor travelling creature” (Travels 238) between Richmond, Castleton, and Northampton, continually develops in relation to fiction. Outside of the big city, our German wanderer finds himself both in the English everyday and at the same time in literature, which does not only steer his conduct through concrete suggestions, but which rather prefigures his perception of the environment through which he travels and which lays the groundwork for its representation in his report. When Moritz lets himself be guided by Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield, he does wrongly expect that every “inn on the road-side” is, in fact, a “resort of indigence and frugality” that should duly preserve one’s wallet (Travels 146). In other cases, the reading does pay off when, for instance, an irritable innkeeper can be appeased with a jug of ale:

This device I had learned of the Vicar of Wakefield, who always made his hosts affable, by inviting them to drink with him. […] This innkeeper, called me, Sir; and he made his people lay a separate table for himself, and me; for, he said, he could see plainly, I was a gentleman. (Travels 196)

In the village of Nettlebed, northwest of Henley-on-Thames, the expectations he gained from novels even turn into reality entirely when a cold “‘why, yes, you may’” tells the German wanderer “to sup at the same table with some soldiers and the servants”:

They shewed me into the kitchen, and set me down. I now, for the first time, found myself in one of those kitchens which I had so often read of in Fielding’s fine novels; and which certainly give one, on the whole, a very accurate idea of English manners. (Travels 149)

Previously, near Windsor, the enthusiastic verses of Alexander Pope’s great ode Windsor Forest (1713) transformed a view from a hill into a joyful aesthetic experience: ← 69 | 70 →

Below me lay the most beautiful landscapes in the world; all the rich scenery that nature, in her best attire, can exhibit. Here were the spots, that furnished those delightful themes, of which the muse of Denham and Pope made choice. I seemed to view a whole world at once, rich and beautiful, beyond conception. (Travels 130)

At closer inspection, we are dealing with a third-degree observation of nature: Moritz’s aesthetic enjoyment has been doubly mediated since he goes back to a corresponding reference in Wendeborn’s Beyträgen.5 That such impressions are anything but unmediated and that reality is only capable of confirming previously held poetic knowledge at best, Moritz already indicated when in the area of Richmond at sunset he voiced a desire to be transported “into a most charming valley, that winds all along the banks of the Thames” (Travels 115):

The terrace at Richmond does assuredly afford one of the finest prospects in the world. Whatever is charming in nature, or pleasing in art, is to be seen here. Nothing I had ever seen, or ever can see elsewhere, is to be compared to it. (Travels 115)

The accompanying “chagrin and sorrow for the days and hours I had wasted in London; and […] thousand bitter reproaches on my irresolution, that I had not long ago quitted that huge dungeon, to come here, and pass my time in paradise” (Travels 115f.), is frankly explained immediately after as conditioned by his reading. After all, Moritz’s feeling of happiness only puts into practice that for which reflection had already consciously laid the groundwork:

Yes, my friend, whatever be your ideas of paradise, and how luxuriantly soever it may be depictured to your imagination, I venture to foretell, that here you will be sure to find all those ideas realized. In every point of view, Richmond is assuredly one of the first situations in the world. Here it was that Thompson and Pope gleaned from nature all those beautiful passages with which their inimitable writings abound! (Travels 116) ← 70 | 71 →

In the self-critical manner that is often found in Moritz’s work, the artificiality of this second-hand nature observation is immediately ironized for its intentionality:

I now resolved to go to bed early, with a firm purpose of also rising early the next day, to revisit this charming walk. For I thought to myself, I have now seen this Tempe of the modern world imperfectly; I have seen it only by moon-light: how much more charming must it be, when glistening with the morning dew! These fond hopes alas! were all disappointed. (Travels 118)

In the further course of his journey to the Peak District, the English landscape changes dramatically in character:

Instead of green meadows and pleasant hills, I now saw barren mountains and lofty rocks; instead of fine living hedges, the fields, and pasture lands, here, were fenced with a wall of grey stone; and of this very same stone, which is here every where to be found in plenty, all the houses are built, in very uniform and patriarchal manner, inasmuch as the rough stones are almost without any preparation, placed one upon another, and compose four walls. (Travels 201f.)

Moritz responds to these changes by substituting the enlightened pastoral poetry with John Milton’s bible epos Paradise Lost. The paradise that he beheld near Richmond is literally lost in the Peak District, and it can hardly be a coincidence when Moritz commentates his first glance of Matlock with the following quotation:

I had got in Milton’s Paradise Lost, which I am reading regularly through, just to the part where he describes Paradise, when I arrived here; and the following passage, which I read at the brink of the river, had a most striking and pleasing effect on me. The landscape here described, was as exactly similar to that I saw before me, as if the poet had taken it from hence:

«–––––––––– delicious Paradise,

«Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,

«As with a rural mound, the champain head

«Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides

«With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,

«Access denied.» ––––––– Book IV. V. 132. (Travels 203).

The primacy of Milton’s verse is even more explicitly formulated through the empirical observations on his return, when Moritz, once again near Matlock, is supposed to have read

the passage, in Milton, relative to the creation, in which the Angel describes to Adam how the waters subsided and ← 71 | 72 →

‘Immediately the mountains huge appear

‘Emergent, and their broad bare backs upheave

‘Into the clouds, their tops ascent the sky.’ Book VII. V. 285.

It seemed to me, while reading this passage, as if every thing around me were in the act of creating, and the mountains themselves appeared to emerge or rise; so animated was the scene. (Travels 236)

Less inspired by Milton than by his Roman role model Virgil is the strikingly evocative, because religiously elevated, sighting of the limestone cave of Castleton, which “goes commonly by a name that is shockingly vulgar: in English it is called The Devil’s Arse o’ Peake” (Travels 229). Clearly inspired by the katabasis in the sixth book of the Aeneid, Moritz stylizes his extended journey through this long-domesticated attraction as an atmospheric descent into the underworld and thus turns it into the – soon separately reprinted – focal point of meaning in his English travel description. This foreign geological experience centers entirely on ancient mythology, as the guide who Moritz confides in “along with his black stringy hair, and his dirty and tattered cloaths, [had] such a singularly wild and infernal look, that he actually struck me as a real Charon” (215). Fittingly, “a whole subterranean village” appears which was found in “the hollow of the Cavern” and whose “inhabitants, on account of its being Sunday, were resting from their work,” in view of the “number of large wheels, on which, on week days, these human moles, the inhabitants of the Cavern, make ropes,”6 exactly as if it were located on the bank of a river in Hades: “I fancied I here saw the wheel of Ixion, and the incessant labour of the Danaides” (216). Afterwards – as with the shadow of one deceased – he continues into the depths in a small boat: “All around us, was one still, solemn, and deadly silence […] I seemed to myself to be in a coffin, rather than in a boat, as I had no room to stir hand or foot” (218). At the end of the cave, our traveler finds himself “in this land of darkness, and shadow of death” (219) and ultimately in an equivalent of the Elysian Fields, where “all at once something like music at a distance, sounded in mine ears” (220): ← 72 | 73 →

I actually saw and felt a violent shower of rain falling from the rock, as from a thick cloud; whose drops, which now fell on our candles, had caused that same melancholy sound, which I had heard at a distance.

This was what is here called a mizzling rain; which fell from the ceiling or roof of the Cavern, through the veins of the rock. (220)

The next cave is instantly perceived, or rather interpreted, in a physico-theological spirit:

This subterranean Temple, in the structure of which no human hand had borne a part, appeared to me at that moment to surpass all the most stupendous buildings in the world, in point of regularity, magnificence and beauty.

Full of admiration and reverence, here even in the inmost recesses of Nature, I saw the Majesty of the Creator displayed; and before I quitted this Temple, here in this solemn silence, and holy gloom, I thought it would be a becoming act of true religion to adore, as I cordially did, the God of Nature. (221)

The actual reward for all the “difficulties” of the path, for his squeezing through the narrowest crevices on hand and feet in the wet sand or going up a steep mound in between two chasms, comes at last when our German visitor’s guide initially leaves him behind at a dizzying height: “I lost sight of him for some moments: but at length I perceived not him indeed, but his candle, quite in the bottom, from whence it seemed to shine like a bright and twinkling star” (222). This already “indescribably beautiful sight” (223f.) is nevertheless surpassed by its ensuing reversal, when his guide

let his candle shine again through an opening of the rock, while I covered mine with my hand; and it was now as if on a dark night a bright Star shone down upon me: a sight which, in point of beauty, far surpassed all that I had ever seen. (224)

This experience, reminiscent of Dante’s departure from Inferno,7 is symbolically charged insofar as it presents as a promise of salvation in the spirit of freemasonry,8 for which all beauty is deemed a confirmation of God’s benevolence. In such a blend of ancient classical and Christian conceptions ← 73 | 74 → of the afterlife, the departure from the limestone cave offers a final look “into Elysium” (224) that soothes all consciousness of one’s own mortality.

This experience of bliss is inevitably limited to the moment, as the road back to London brings new troubles along with it. Since Moritz, because of a lack of time, is traveling from Leicester by stagecoach, he is spared the experience of being regarded as a “sort of wild man, or an out-of-the-way-being” (122), and yet “it seemed to be my fate to be still a scandal, and an eye-sore to all the waiters” (133). Because he feels constantly in danger of his life “on the outside of an English post-coach” (248), he casts the warning of “‘O, Sir, Sir, you will be shaken to death!’” to the wind and unsuccessfully seeks out more comfort in the basket, until he, “quite shaken to pieces and sadly bruised” (247), is able to climb back on top of the carriage. This undoubtedly biographically valid experience is of particular significance within the overall scheme of his English travel description because it forms part of a sequence of misfortunes and abasements which Moritz narrates in a similar manner as Goldsmith does the rather more serious yet happily ending fortunes of his Vicar Primrose. In this regard, Moritz’s English travel report can be understood as a humoristically oriented adaptation of the Old Testament’s Book of Job. The characteristics of this report are not least to be found in the fact that it is largely inspired by literature and that the description of the other country, in spite of all individual credibility, is nevertheless a second-hand description.

Moritz’s Reisen eines Deutschen in England was predominantly positively received by the literary public in both Germany and Great Britain.9 It has occasionally been asserted that the author is “entertaining [because of] the naiveté of his narration”10 or that he represents his adventure with a rare “unassuming innocence and unadulterated truth”.11 These assessments, however, completely miss the literary evidence. The review of the ← 74 | 75 → English translation published in the European Magazine and London Review (Vol. 28, from July to December 1795), for example, overlooks the multiple mediations in Moritz’s travel narrative: “The author writes with an apparent sincerity; he derives no assistance from books; what he records he saw; and when he describes, the original was before him.”12 More on point, on the other hand, is the skeptical look of the Gothaische gelehrten Zeitungen (Vol. 23, March 20, 1784): “Although England is not an unknown country, each traveler sees things with different eyes, and from such a keen observer as Mr. Moritz, one still learns something new now and again; and because he is a good narrator, one also gladly reads again that which one in essence already knew in a new form and guise.”13

In any case, the detailed tracing of Moritz’s sources in the critical edition was able to determine that the ostensible “naiveté” of his Reisen eines Deutschen in England is anything but original and is not only influenced by the travel guides he consulted, but gains its poetic individuality primarily from poetic reference texts by mostly British authors:14 “Moritz extended the observation of nature into the romantic and poeticized the landscape through his reading of Milton” (Jahnke and Wingertszahn 276). In this light, the authenticity of Moritz’s narrative of England proves to be an ultimately literary construction, which – regardless of its basic soundness of detail – makes his generalizing characterization of the country and people factually questionable. It is precisely because Moritz’s highly subjective and individual depictions profit so thoroughly from the humoristic writings of English authors, that their apparent verisimilitude brings the reader under the illusion that they are taking part in a real travel experience. As such, it also makes the corresponding knowledge about the reality of England believable, however much it may be grounded in poetry rather than everyday life. In the wake of Pope, Milton, Fielding, and Goldsmith, the Reisen eines ← 75 | 76 → Deutschen in England does indeed turn out to be “too literary”15 to remain factually credible. Consequently, in Moritz’s “company” one does not get to know “the spirit of the English”16 in an unfiltered manner, but is compelled to read the poetic tradition at the same time, from whose particular point of view the unfamiliar reality is perceived.

If Moritz’s depictions are largely unencumbered by the “conventional national clichees” in Germany (Jahnke and Wingertszahn 265), this is due, first of all, to the fact that in 1782, the author was less traveled in England than in English literature. Thus, Moritz’s travel report does not achieve a genuinely autonomous expansion of German knowledge that transcends contingency and is derived from the empirical observation of the other country. Instead, the famous dialectic which Goethe distilled into a formula in 1795 also applies to him: “One only sees, what one knows.” If Moritz consequently could only experience what he had already read in both the reference texts as well as in literature, his Reisen eines Deutschen in England, in all its humor, will teach us “little more […], than how the Thames curves, the streets meander, and how sixty years ago, the houses looked from the outside, whose insides the travelers had not been granted to see”.17

Works Cited

Fielding, Henry. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Introd. Claude Rawson. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1991.

Jahnke, Jürgen, and Christof Wingertszahn. “Kommentar.” Reisebeschreibungen. Teil 1: Reisen eines Deutschen in England im Jahr 1782. Ed. Jürgen Jahnke and Christof Wingertszahn. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2015. 151–574. Vol. 5 of Sämtliche Werke: Kritische und kommentierte Ausgabe. Ed. Anneliese Klingenberg et al. ← 76 | 77 →

Leitzmann, Albert. Review of Reisen eines Deutschen in England im Jahr 1782 von Karl Philipp Moritz, edited by Otto zur Linde. Berlin 1903. Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 36 (1904), 423–427.

Maurer, Michael. Aufklärung und Anglophilie in Deutschland. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck + Ruprecht, 1987.

Moritz, Karl Philipp. Anton Reiser. Ed. Christof Wingertszahn. Tübingen: DeGruyter, 2006. Vol. 1 of Sämtliche Werke: Kritische und kommentierte Ausgabe. Ed. Anneliese Klingenberg et al.

–. Schriften zur Pädagogik und Freimaurerei. Ed. Jürgen Jahnke. Berlin: DeGryuter, 2013. Vol. 6 of Sämtliche Werke. Kritische und kommentierte Ausgabe. Ed. Anneliese Klingenberg et al.

–. Travels, Chiefly on Foot, Through Several Parts of England, in 1782. Described in Letters to a Friend, by Charles P. Moritz, a Literary Gentleman of Berlin, translated from the German, by a Lady. London 1795.

Paterson, Daniel, A New and Accurate Description of All the Direct and the Principal Cross Roads in Great Britain […]. The Fourth Edition, Corrected and greatly Improved; with Additions. London 1778.

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of. Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour. In a Letter to a Friend. London 1709.

Volkmann, Johann Jacob. Neueste Reisen durch England […]. Aus den besten Nachrichten und neuern Schriften zusammengetragen. Vier Theile. Leipzig 1781/82.

Wendeborn, Gebhard Friedrich August. Beyträge zur Kentniß Grosbritanniens vom Jahr 1779. Aus der Handschrift eines Ungenannten herausgegeben von Georg Forster. Lemgo 1780.


1 Cf. above all, the comparison between England and Italy, which comes out decidedly in favor of England over the supposedly backward Italy, in Johann Wilhelm von Archenholtz’s England und Italien (Leipzig 1785; 2nd ed. 1787).

2 The first English translation appeared in 1795: Travels, Chiefly on Foot, Through Several Parts of England, in 1782. Described in Letters to a Friend, by Charles P. Moritz, a Literary Gentleman of Berlin, translated from the German, by a Lady. London 1795 (from this – largely free and thus imprecise – translation will in the following be cited under the short title Travels).

3 George III William Frederick of Great Britain and Ireland was in Moritz’s time also prince-elector of Hanover.

4 Cf. the “Chronological Overview” [“Chronologische Übersicht”] in the commentary on Moritz, Reisen eines Deutschen in England im Jahr 1782, 573.

5 “Pope hat in einem eignen Gedichte die Schönheiten dieser Gegenden besungen, und die Beschreibungen, die er macht, erwecken gewis bei einem Leser das Verlangen, sie zu sehen” [Pope extolled the beauty of these regions in one of his own poems and the descriptions he makes surely arouse within the reader the desire to see them.] (Wendeborn 321).

6 Johann Jacob Volkmann describes this scene more soberly: “[…] sind in diesem dunklen Auffenthalte zwischen den Felsen einige zerstreute Hütten, darin eine Menge Weiber und Kinder spinnen” [in these dark dwellings in between the crevices are a few scattered huts in which a number of women and children spin] (469).

7 “E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle” [and thence we came forth to see the stars again] (Dante Alighieri, Inferno XXXIV 139).

8 On Moritz as freemason, cf. in general the commentary to his relevant writings in Moritz, Karl Philipp: Schriften zur Pädagogik und Freimaurerei (especially 715–719).

9 Cf. the collection of contemporary reviews in Jahnke and Wingertszahn, 342–372. The harshest critique is found in The Gentleman’s Magazine, 65 (Sep 1795): “it is a dull farrago of blunders, misadventures, common-place observation, and low humour” (359).

10 Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, 30.5 (Feb 1785; qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 350).

11 Hallische Neue Gelehrte Zeitungen, 1 and 2 (Jan 5 and 8, 1784; qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 345).

12 Qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 360. Cf. the similar assessment in der Allgemeinen Deutschen Bibliothek, 71.1 (1787): „Ob ein Gegenstand sonst schon bekannt ist, das hindert ihn doch nicht, ihn ausführlich zu beschreiben, genug, er sah ihn. ––“ [Whether something is otherwise already known does not keep him from describing it in detail, enough, he saw it.] (351).

13 Qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 348.

14 Already in 1904, Albert Leitzmann found correspondences with Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Leiden des jungen Werthers (423).

15 Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek, 71.1 (1787; qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 351).

16 Königl. privilegirte Berlinische Staats- und gelehrte Zeitung, 144 (December 2, 1783; qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 344).

17 Willibald Alexis: Litterarhistorisches Taschenbuch 5 (1847, qtd. in Jahnke and Wingertszahn 399–401, here 400).