Franklina C. Gray: the Grand Tour

Printed in full color with illustrations on every page, Franklina C. Gray: the Grand Tour, is a feast for the eyes and a unique opportunity to understand a Victorian woman and the world in which she lived.

Franklina Gray The Grand Tour

In 1875 Franklina Gray fulfilled a lifelong dream when she embarked on a two-year grand tour of Europe. This book chronicles that journey using Franklina’s never before published diary and letters. She describes both the joys and vicissitudes of late 19th century travel alternating between travel guide, gossip column, and examination of her thoughts and feelings.

One hundred years before Rick Steves and travel blogs, Franklina gives candid reviews of the hotels she visited and in Austen like fashion exposes what she calls “American fashionables” and their foibles abroad. However, it is Franklina’s mesmerizing descriptions of “a world so full of the glorious and the beautiful” that enchant the reader. In addition to her writings, Franklina collected calling cards and cartes de visite photographs from those she met along the way.

Using these primary source materials Camron-Stanford House volunters have annotated her writing with in-depth research to give readers historical and cultural context as well as a window into Franklina’s late 19th century world view.

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Photographs of Camron-Stanford House by Reenie Raschke Photography