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Pennant 1784
Pennant 1784
Thomas Pennant
A Tour in Wales
Benjamin White, Fleet Street
London, UK
Primary published
Bodleian Library, Unversity of Oxford
Vet.A5 d.40
A record of Pennant's travels in Wales in 1773, first published in two volumes in 1778 and 1781. The second, more reliable edition was published in 1784 with references in vol. 2 to P153 Llyn Cau, Cader Idris on p. 88 and to P152 Snowdon from Llyn Nantlle on p. 181. The author, Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) of Downing, Flintshire was a distinguished naturalist, antiquary and traveller. His portrait, painted by Gainsborough in 1776, is in National Museum Wales, Cardiff (NMW A 97). Dr Johnson described him as 'the best traveller I have ever read' and he did much to encourage interest in the topography and history of Wales. His British Zoology (1768-70) and Arctic Zoology (1784-85) also brought him academic acclaim. See further: P. Bishop, 'Thomas Pennant (1726-98): The Journey to Snowdon and its influence on artists visiting North Wales', The British Art Journal, vol. 19, no. 3, Winter 2018/2019, pp. 87-95.
Vol. 2, p. 88: 'On the other side, at a nearer distance, I saw Craig Cay, a great rock, with a lake beneath, lodged in a deep hollow; possibly the crater of an antient Vulcano. This is so admirably expressed by the pen of my kinsman, Mr. Wilson, that I shall not attempt the description.' p. 181: 'I was tempted here to exceed a little the limits of my Alpine tour; for now the mountains descend fast from their majestic heights, growing less and less as they approach the Irish sea. My motive was to obtain a sight of two fine lakes called Llynnieu Nanlle which form two handsome expanses, with a very small distance between each. From hence is a noble view of the Wyddfa, which terminates the view through the visto of Drws y Coed. It is from this spot Mr. WILSON has favoured us with a view, as magnificent as it is faithful. Few are sensible of this; for few visit the spot.'