Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment
Richard J. Jones
Travels Through France, Italy and Scotland
Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) is best known today as a novelist, whereas in the eighteenth century he was primarily regarded as a historian and critic. In Tobias Smollett in the Enlightenment, Richard J. Jones explores the diversity of Smollett's journalistic and literary writings and establishes connections between Smollett's work and writers of the Scottish Enlightenment. Taking as his focal point Smollett's visit to Nice between 1763 and 1765, and the account he wrote of it in Travels through France and Italy (1766), Jones argues that Smollett's account should be read as a "pocket encyclopedia" in the tradition of Voltaire, rather than as a conventional "travel narrative." Discussing Smollett's engagement with medicine, fine art, the theater, and history, Jones offers a productive juxtaposition of authors, texts, and contexts, presenting Smollett as a writer whose Scottish (and particularly Glaswegian) identity informed his involvement in a wider European Enlightenment.
About the author:
Richard J. Jones is editor and associate lecturer at The Open University in the United Kingdom.