Clergyman, schoolmaster and writer on aesthetics, William Gilpin (1724-1804) is best known for his works on the picturesque. In his Essay on Prints, published in 1768 and reissued in this series, he defined picturesque as ‘a term expressive of that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture’. First published in 1782, the present work was the first in a series which recorded his reflections on the picturesque across British landscapes. It traces the journey he made, equipped with notebook and sketching materials, along the River Wye and into South Wales, visiting such notable sites as Tintern Abbey. As well as describing his route and its highlights, Gilpin includes several reproductions of his pen-and-wash drawings. Further developing and exploring the concept of the picturesque, his later volumes of Observations on various parts of Britain are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.