The manuscript diaries of three French travellers in Italy
The journal of a tour through Italy made in 1739-1740 by Abraham-Guy de Migieu, the elder son of Abraham-François de Migieu (1682-1735), marquis de Savigny-sous-Beaune, président à mortier of the Parlement of Dijon. Written with different pens and inks, with phrases scored out, and other corrections, the manuscript seems the actual document compiled by the young traveller during his itinerary. The writer follows the usual conventions of manuscript travel diaries, presenting geographical, historical, and architectural information on major locations and landmarks, interlaced with his own observations and opinions. Some of the latter concern one of his travelling companions, Charles de Brosses (1709-1777), and offer an enlightening perspective on De Brosses’ published account of their journey. The free expression of the author’s feelings strongly suggests that he wrote for his own reference, and did not intend that his memoir should circulate among family and friends.
Bound with [Anonymous], Mémoire des plus excellens tableaux et statues qui sont dans les églises de Rome.
Bound with [Anonymous], Remarques sur le voyage d’Italie – Voyage d’Italie fait en 1664.
Bound with [Anonymous], Traité des anciennes familles de Rome.
Bound with [Anonymous], Traité du gouvernement civil et ecclésiastique de Rome.
Bound with [Cudanson, Guillaume (c. 1575-1640)?], Mémoire de mon voiage d’Italye commencé le jour de feste de la nostre dame d’aoust de l’année 1623.
The manuscript was preserved after Abraham-Guy’s death in 1749 by his younger brother, the bibliophile Anthelme-Michel-Laurent de Migieu (1723-1788). In 1754, Anthelme caused it be bound with other manuscript accounts of journeys made in Italy, recording the date and the price of the binding on the lower endpaper: 1754 | 4 li[vres] 10 s[ols]. He placed Abraham-Guy’s manuscript (15 folios) at the front of the volume, supplying himself a handwritten “title-page”: Voyage d’Italie par Abraham Guy Demigieu conseiller au parlement de dijon en 1739. An earlier manuscript journal, documenting a voyage to Italy undertaken by ‘Cudanson’ in 1623, was placed at the end: Mémoire de mon voiage d’Italye commencé le jour de feste de la nostre dame d’aoust de l’année 1623 (39 folios). In between were bound seventy folios of blank paper. On these blank leaves Anthelme copied four accounts of Italy which he found in manuscripts in the libraries of two friends, Charles-Marie Févret de Fontette (1710-1772) and abbé Jérôme Richard (1720-1795).