Reporting the Grand Tour: the correspondence of Henry Bentinck, Viscount Woodstock, and Paul Rapin-Thoyras with the Earl of Portland, 1701-1703

Michael Green
  • Paedagogica Historica, May 2014, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2014.899375

Early Modern Grand Tour

What is it about?

The article deals with the interaction between the pupil Viscount Woodstock and his tutor, the famous Huguenot historian Paul Rapin-Thoyras during their Grand Tour around Europe. Based on correspondence of the two with Woodstock's father - Hans William Bentinck, the Earl of Portland. Portland was a close associate of William III of Orange, king of England, and the correspondence features various references to the king. Rapin-Thoyras is best known for his History of England or Histoire d'Angleterre in French - one of the best-selling histories of his day, highly acclaimed by his contemporaries.

Why is it important?

Because we have here letters of both the tutor and the pupil, we get an in depth look into the relationship between the two from both sides. The differences in perception of various events and ideas is clearly visible. Furthermore, the clear and the light style of the two allowed the analysis of the Grand Tour from various perspectives.


Michael Green

Despite various references to this correspondence in scholarship, it has not yet been studied in depth. This article is a first step on my way to editing and publish the correspondence in full, as it is an important contemporary account of early modern tutorship, Grand Tour, as well as postal services, War of Spanish Succession, and Anglo-Dutch relations.

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The following have contributed to this page: Michael Green