More French views of Swansea

Here are a few more French views of Swansea to add to the previous post.

Maudet de Penhouët, Letters Describing a Tour Through Part of South Wales (1797)

‘Before we got to Swansea we saw immense forges at work, and I could not enough admire the genius and œconomy of commerce, which transports copper hither out of Cornwall, in order to be wrought, coal being the principal production of this country, which is wanting in the other. Swansea feels greatly the advantage of this commerce; by its situation it is, as it were, the staple town between the interior country of Wales, and the opposite coast of England, particularly Bristol. Company also frequents Swansea for the advantage of Sea Bathing, and I have heard say, that it would be a place of great resort if the Bathing was better conducted; but, notwithstanding this, and though on the great road to Ireland, there is but one decent inn, the master of which is not backward in taking due advantage of such a circumstance.’ (pp. 42-43)

Amadée Pichot, L’Irlande et le pays de Galles (Paris, 1850) arrives in Swansea by boat from Bristol. According to Pichot Swansea is a bit like Dieppe (other French travellers compare Aberystwyth to Dieppe), and is connected by steamboat to Bristol, Waterford, Cork and Dublin. He then mentions the ship building industry, the surrounding coal and copper mines, and tousism.

‘une ville agréable du troisième ordre : c’est un peu notre ville de Dieppe, un port qui, sans commerce extérieur, prospère par le cabotage, par la pêche et ses chantiers de construction, d’où sortent chaque année de beaux navires de commerce : à cette dernière industrie se rattachent des corderies et des fonderies; enfin, dans le voisinage de Swansea, on trouve des mines de charbon et des mines de cuivre : c’est en dire assez pour faire apprécier l’importance d’une ville de dix à douze mille habitants, qui, par ses bateaux à vapeur, est en communication périodique avec Bristol, Waterford, Cork et Dublin. Chaque été, Swansea est aussi le rendez-vous d’une assez nombreuse foule de baigneurs qu’attire sa belle baie’ (p. 149).

Alfred Erny, author of “Voyage dans le pays de Galles.” Le Tour de Monde 15.1 (1867), visits in 1862, takes an omnibus excursion to the Gower, and describes Swansea as:

‘la ville la plus importante et la plus populeuse du pays de Galles’ (p. 263), but note that ‘important’ here should be translated as something like ‘considerable’ or ‘substantial’.

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