Italian Journey: 1786 - 1788
New York: Pantheon Books, 1962. Small 4to. xxiv, 508,  pp. 24 color plates; 24 black & white illustrations; facsimile autograph. Beautifully bound in three-quarter black morocco over marbled paper covered boards; gilt decorative ruling & gilt lettering to spine. A fine copy in a lovely binding. Item #21157
At the beginning of September 1786, when Goethe had just turned 37, he "slipped away", in his words, from his duties as Privy Councillor in the Duchy of Weimar, from a long platonic affair with a court lady and from his immense fame as the author of the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther and the stormy play Götz von Berlichingen, and he took what became a licensed leave of absence. By May 1788 he had travelled to Italy via Innsbruck and the Brenner Pass and visited Lake Garda, Verona, Vicenza, Venice, Bologna, Rome and Alban Hills, Naples and Sicily. He wrote many letters to a number of friends in Germany, which he later used as the basis for Italian Journey...there is also a strong and indeed elegant sense of fiction about the whole, a sort of composed immediacy. Goethe said in a letter that the work was "both entirely truthful and a graceful fairy-tale". - wiki.