An English Dimension

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István Széchenyi (1791–1860) was a man in a hurry. He wanted to bring Hungary into the nineteenth century, with railways, steam ships, tunnels, and bridges – not least one that spanned the Danube to unite Buda and Pest.

Széchenyi’s inspiration was England, which he visited five times. This book contains extracts from Széchenyi’s diary recording his stays in England in 1832 and 1834. They show the author’s enthusiasm for the new inventions and industrial processes that were being pioneered – from the ‘little devil’ of a steam train that ran between Manchester and Liverpool, to the construction of piers to support bridges, and even the operation of a bathroom shower.

But Széchenyi recognised that importing English methods was not enough to transform Hungary. A change was needed in what he called the ‘intelligence’ of the people, otherwise the transformation could only be superficial. Throughout his time in England, he alternated between boundless enthusiasm for everything new, and a despair of his fellow countrymen and their reluctance to embrace change. Translated for the first time into English, this judicious selection of extracts from Széchenyi’s diary gives a remarkable and compelling insight into England and Hungary in the 1830s as well as a glimpse into the troubled mind of Hungary’s most distinguished nineteenth-century reformer.

Martyn Rady,
Masaryk Professor Emeritus of Central European History
University College London



List of Contributors 7
List of illustrations and maps 9
List of abbreviations and guide to pronunciations 13
Foreword 14
Acknowledgements 19
Introduction 22
End note 59

Part I: 1832 75
Széchenyi’s Diary entries covering the journey to England in 1832,
with a map of his travels.
1832 Journey:
First entry in the translation: 14 August 1832
Arrive in Dover: 4 September 1832
Leave from Dover: 11 November 1832
Last entry: 21 November 1832

Part II: 1834 187
Széchenyi’s Diary entries covering the journey to England in 1834,
with a map of his travels.
1834 Journey:
First entry in the translation: 27 December 1833
Arrive in Dover: 17 January 1834
Leave from Port of London: 12 April 1834
Last entry: 16 April 1834

Appendix I 249
Author’s introduction to the catalogue of Széchenyi’s English language
books with pictures of title pages.
Appendix II 262
Selection of works: Foreign impressions of Britain in the late eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries.
Bibliography 272
Index 274

További információk


Sandor P. Vaci


Keménytábla, cérnafüzött



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