Sunday, November 26, 2006

1650s Travel Diary to be Published

The Scotsman reports that Scottish minister James Fraser's narrative of a three-year journey through Scotland, England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Holland (1657-1660) is set to be published for the first time. A witness to the late days of Cromwell's government, Fraser also found himself over the course of his journey a member of the Vatican's Swiss Guard, in which capacity he stood sentry at the residence of the Queen of Sweden.

The Episcopal minister at Inverness when he wasn't globe-trotting, Fraser was educated at King's College in Aberdeen; he wrote poetry and prose in both Gaelic and English and also spoke Latin and Hebrew. The three-volume manuscript diary was "rediscovered recently by academics at Aberdeen University who were carrying out an assessment of historic material ahead of the creation of a new £55.5 million library and special collections centre. It is now being transcribed with a view to publishing part or all of the remarkable journal."

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