Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
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65. Vesuvius and the Tourists, 1632

Auldjo, John (d. 1857). Sketches of Vesuvius with short accounts of its principle eruptions from the commencement of the Christian era to the present time. Naples: George Glass, Largo S. Ferdinando, 1832.

Little is known about John Auldjo, except that he visited Vesuvius during a time of vigorous activity in 1831, and that he published upon his return one of the most charming books on Vesuvius that has ever been printed. The book is filled with hand-colored lithographs. Not only do they capture Vesuvius in full eruption, but they show what a tourist mecca Vesuvius had become, since most of the plates depict white-trousered Victorian gentlemen lounging about in various states of Byronic contemplation. The plate on display, with its multiple fold-outs, is one of the most spectacular. For the catalog, we show a detail of the central section.

Auldjo’s distant view of an eruption of Vesuvius is used to illustrate the opening page of the exhibition.