"Young English elites of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries often spent two to four years traveling around Europe in an effort to broaden their horizons and learn about language, architecture, geography, and culture in an experience known as the Grand Tour"


Paulo Monaldi, 1720-1799

The Grand European Tour Travelling Companion

The “Grand Tour” was an essential part of the education of many young English gentleman in the eighteenth century and generally involved travelling for up to three years and stopping at cultural centres such as Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome. As travel became easier in the course of the century the Tour often extended to Naples, Sicily and/or Greece and was on occasion undertaken by young women and married couples.

In its classic form, the Grand Tour was undertaken by a wealthy young aristocrat who was seeking to familiarise himself with the culture of ancient Rome but also understand something of contemporary Europe. The Tour was thus deeply related to the British aristocracy’s desire to model itself on the Roman Empire, to the collection of art works with which to ornament town house and country house, and to the display of consumption, taste and learning. It was somewhat similar to going to university in that it enabled young men to grow up and “sow their wild oats” away from home. (Only about a third of the peerage went to university in the eighteenth century.) Like the modern “gap year”, it was also not without its risks, travel in general being far from easy – especially crossing the Alps – and disease taking its toll. Notwithstanding the problems, the German art historian Johann Winckelmann (1717-68) observed in Paris in 1763 that there were over 300 young Englishmen en route for Rome.

Typically the young gentleman was accompanied by a tutor, or ciceroni, with whom he would read the classics, such as Pliny and Cicero, to extend the sensibility and the understanding. Among the most famous of the many such tutors was Adam Smith who resigned his professorship at Glasgow in 1763 to act as tutor to young Duke of Buccleuch at an annual salary of £300 plus travelling expenses and a pension of £300 a year thereafter. Such a princely sum far exceeded his modest professorial stipend and the time spend abroad enabled Smith to begin writing The Wealth of Nations (1776).

Tutors, known as "bearleaders" — a title that hints at the unruly behavior of their charges — were supposed to inculcate lessons along the way, pointing out the most important buildings, paintings, views, and historical sites of note to the young men. In addition, tutors had the task of watching over their students' recreation, to see that they did not gamble away their inheritances or contract syphilis by pursuing unwise amours. Ideally, a young man sent on the Grand Tour would return home not just with souvenir portraits painted against a backdrop of Roman monuments, but with new maturity, improved taste, an understanding of foreign cultures, and a fresh appreciation of the benefits of being born British. However, bearleaders were often poor but well-educated men who hoped for preferment or places in the church from their patrician students, a circumstance that may have compromised their ability to enforce their pupils' good behavior.

source: Literary Encyclopedia and Norton Anthology of English Literature

Selecting A Companion


From the outset the Grand Tour was a source of anxiety for the families of young travellers
since it meant visiting for the most part Catholic countries. In the 1630s the Earl of Cork
made sure his sons spent a long time in Calvinist Geneva, under the protection of a
Protestant tutor, before they continued their journey into Italy.
In the country itself, non-Catholics were at risk from the Inquisition, especially in the
seventeenth century; while young noblemen themselves were safe their tutors who
accompanied them were vulnerable: Lord Ross’s preceptor was arrested by the Inquisition in
1607 and spent thirty years in a Roman prison. Religious prejudices tended to diminish in
the more tolerant climate of eighteenth-century Europe although the presence in Italy of the
exiled Stuart dynasty could still give rise to political and diplomatic difficulties for travelling Englishmen

Who will you have travel with you and be your tutor during this Grand Tour? Clearly there is no limitation in that you could have George Elliot come and be with you and show you Venice as she saw it or have Keats, Wordsworth, Turner step in and tutor you. It would be great to sit down at Pompeii at the Temple of Isis and dialogue with a goddess like Bridget who might just be your tutor.

Shop for some supplies


Soul Food Mugs are so useful. You can sit under the old Banyan Tree sipping tea or chicken soup or you can use your mug as a pencil holder while you trek the Lemurian Lanes with Enchanteur.

All purchases from the store add to your site credits and eligibility to travel with Enchanteur on her private Heroine's Journey during 2007.

Chris Dunmire's CreativiTea Novelty Joke Tea Bag Wrappers and Tags

make some of your own teabags for the journey

Grand Tour

Collective Blog: Grand Tour at WordPress

Grand Lemurian Tour

Collective Blog: Lemurian Tours

Week Two

I have been packing my bag, keeping in mind my journey to come and trying to bring things that have good energy and soul to them, I have my rosewood and ebony knitting needles, natural, plant dyed wool to knit with in the most extraordinary moss green and earth brown, with a little sky blue to augment it with. I have my colored pencils and my sketch book along with my favorite pens to write with. I am staying in the magenta gypsy wagon, over by where the horses are tethered, I like to hear them breathing at night while I look out at the stars.

Meeting Enchanteur

L'Enchanteur loves to keep everyone on their toes...in fact, I think she has a secret (or not-so-secret) delight in watching people get confuddled over "Rules"...I think she hates 'em, personally...she's a gypsy, after all.
And really, therein lies a secret in unlocking creativity, something Heather and L'Enchanteur discovered years ago...having only bare-thread rules in what and how to post, within a structured environment.
Kris Winnet

Amid a flash of colours Enchanteur appears like a whirling dervish snapping her fingers, giving directions, offering last minute suggestions. Within split seconds you pass through a portal and the beauty of the Lemurian Cosmos all but blinds you. Like the White Witch in Narnia Enchanteur has you snared in her web and will make you earn your keep in Lemuria.

Lemurian Cosmos by Heather Blakey

Despite Anita Marie’s dire warnings we are heading along Owl Creek Road towards the old mining town of Leaning Birches in the Olympic Mountains. We have to go because we are going to try to gain access to the old alluvial mine and each of us will stake a claim and work it for awhile.

Enchanteur tells you to read all about the mine and reminds you that you will have to use your mouse intuitively when you gain access to it.

But first she gives you some mining equipment and points to some mules who are going to carry your things along the road. She says that you will know when you are near the mine because you will come to an old farm house, where the keeper of the mine lives.

Finding One's Inner Donkey, Mule, Horse, Cat, Frog.... to guide you along Lemurian lanes

Sleepy Donkey Ride by Aletta Mes

Woe is me. Oh Dear!
This adventure has turned into an ordeal. The 'hand project' took so long we missed the boat.
Finally, after much trial and error, I fashioned a large Jon Boat with outriggers- a caricature that any self-respecting Hawaiian would laugh out of the water.
Then another half-day lost to coaxing, cajoling, persuading my recalcitrant mule-of-a-donkey to climb aboard.
Finally, just this side of my breaking-point it calmly climbed aboard lured by my last sugar-glazed donut perched on the bow. ::sighs::
Now rowing madly to catch the ship. I pray someone will look down in the wake, spot us and throw a line.
Charlotte Greene

Sweet Albert and Friend by Lori Gloyd

Sweet Albert by Lori Gloyd

Meet Orlando Non Furioso

Orlando Non Furioso met me at the Glade, curious as he was to learn the journey had something to do with digging, as was his art.  The City of Ladies would be quiet now with many of the travellers taking to the road.  He had put up a sign “Gone Prospecting” at the Ancient Pottery Studio on the outskirts of the City, and laden with picks and shovels in his pack, we proceeded together on foot, taking in the Glade and noticing for the first time the Satyr, feasting as he was on poisonous orange berries and playing his reed pipe.  “What is the way to Owl Creek?” asked Orlando, not surprised when he was greeted with a mischievious grin and then ignored. 

The Glade was verdant green, spiced with orange berries unfit for general consumption.  But we regarded the Satyr and his merry tune with amusement, and smiled in return.  “We must follow this way and see where it leads.  No answer is as good as any,” said Orlando, casting his attention ahead, away from the idyllic Glade, where the landscape lay in black and white, all colour of the City of Ladies gone.  Yet Mnemosyne made sure it was firmly etched in our minds, so we proceeded with a kind of trepidation.

Orlando made sure I had brought the almanac along, for earth and sky, a bag of talismans each, and the gold coin.  Enchanteur had told us about the mine where we would stake a claim, and what we had to do there.  “Night is due any moment,” I said, as ahead we could see the shades, dark shadows making cries of melancholy and loss.  “We must find the inn, where our alluvial hosts will be,” he said.  The cries grew louder and soot filled the air, acrid with the smell of years of waste.  I wanted to put my hands over my ears, but Orlando insisted I listen.  “Listen, but pay no heed, and all shall be well.  These are the voices of superstition and fear.”

A single flame lit the window of the inn, barely visible in the darkness.  The cries grew louder and I listened to what they said.  The merry tune of the Satyr seemed to lace with these cries, woven like a plait of a child’s hair.  Soon it was so dark, all that could be seen was the flame of the candle at the window.  It seemed as if the very earth was in a darkness it could never release, a dark like Hades.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)

Inner Donkey/Mule/Horse/Cat Dialogue

You soon discover that the mule Enchanteur has provided is no ordinary mule. Like Donkey in Shrek it is a very communicative creature and the two of you are soon conversing like old friends. Apart from carrying your mining equipment your mule is akin to some kind of sage and offers lots of encouraging words and practical support. Who needs Enchanteur when you have a guide like this?

When Belenus and I awoke, it was still.  We had memory of being in Baba’s house, but now it was all gone.  A green grove sheltered us from the fine rain settling on the leaves above, damping down the charred remains of a fire nearby, formed in a circle on the earth.  “Oh, look, everything’s gone,” I said, disheartened and disoriented, getting up to look around.  Belenus was stiff and sore, from sleeping on the hard ground, and I tried to ignore my dirt covered robe as I felt in my pockets for I knew not what.  Perhaps I was hoping for a map?  There was no trace of string around my wrist and Belenus’ hooves were clear of it.  “What’s going on?” he said, bewildered.  “I feel out of sorts.  As if I were not myself…my stomach hurts.” he said, and I replied, “I think Baba found us too impatient?  Did she trick us?  Leaving us out here in the middle of nowhere, without a guide?  I am in a void, a void.”  “You’re in a void??  I must be clear under the earth, the way I feel, as if I’m invisible.”  We looked at each other, through foggy eyes.  Sophia, the little doll in my pocket, was jumping around, as I was fishing for the map and neither of us heeded her small cries.  “I’m tired of this,” I said.  “Tired of this road!”  said Belenus, kicking up mud with his little hooves.  “Sick of having four legs, and no hands…I’ve always been so jealous of you!” he said, huffing and puffing at me as if he were going to explode.  “Stress!” I said.  The doll kept trying to jump into my hand, and annoyed, I finally got her out.  “What is it?” I said.  “It’s the stress of individuation…” said the small voice, wise and dark, in her small cloak.  “We thought as much,” I said, not thinking it was much help, Sophia telling me what I already knew, and Belenus kicking up clumps of mud.  “No, in your pocket!  Look in your other pocket!” said Sophia, the small voice we hadn’t heard so loudly before.  So I did.

“Belenus, stop it! Stop it now.  Look, we haven’t been abandoned after all!” I said, “Put your glasses on, quick.”  Snapped out of his frenzy, he immediately collected himself, and looked quite respectable again, once his glasses were on.  Mine showed me what Baba had left us, a shining, fiery row of red hot pokers to stir our own fires with, and we were both so pleased we danced around in a mad circle in the rain, oddly enough around the old spent fire.  And this made sense.  Then all the while, we were changing, Belenus was changing, I was changing, until all of a sudden we knew who we really were, and where we were going.  Cyberia, near the Mouseion, and the famous City of Ladies…
 (copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)

Ninja Cat Prepares to Meet Her Mule
The Mule and I by Janet Andrews
The Mule and Keeper of the Mine by Carol Abel
Belanus the Donkey by Imogen Crest
Walled Garden by Imogen Crest
Revelations by Imogen Crest
On the Road to Find Out by Imogen Crest
Going Somewhere, Somehow by Blue Ridge Girl
Deja Vu by Charlotte Greene
Onery Beast Move It by Charlotte Greene
Pondering Self Discipline by Lori Gloyd
Cher-lyn and I by faucon of Sakin'el
Cher-lyn by faucon of Sakin'el
My Cher-lyn by faucon of Sakin'el
Reunion with Ariel by Carol Abel
Willow by Carol Abel
Donkey Story by faucon of Sakin'el
Donkey Song by faucon of Sakin'el
The Donkey Christmas Party 2005
Faithful Companions 2005
Soaking in the Broth of... by Julia Clay
Meeting Dunberg by Tiny Froglet
Olef by Patricia Stewart


Describe your arrival in Lemuria. Meet your donkey and set out along Owl Creek Road towards the old Alluvial Mine.