When you come upon an eight-hundred-page book the size of an unabridged dictionary weighing eight and one-half pounds—meaning that it cannot be read in bed or in an easy chair—you are not inclined to pick it up. But Linda Parshall’s masterful English translation of the intriguingly titled Briefe eines Verstorbenen (Letters of a Dead Man)an unsuccessful ploy to preserve the author’s anonymity—is a page-turner.1 Although it must be propped on a reading stand or placed on a table, you will find yourself immersed in an engaging and informative travelogue that paints a perceptive portrait of Regency England during the years 1826–1829, a period...


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