Nineteenth-Century Travel Writing
French author and journalist (Leon) Paul Blouet (1848-1903) published under the pseudonym Max O'Rell, a name that he adopted permanently. O’Rell studied piano at the Paris Conservatoire, before serving in the Franco-Prussian war. A humourist, O'Rell had previously authored John Bull's Womankind (1884), Drat the Boys (1886); John Bull and his Island (1887), and Jonathan and his Continent (1889). His travel narrative, John Bull & Co., was based on a world lecture tour undertaken in 1894 and was dedicated to his wife and daughter who accompanied him on his travels. Establishing the conversational work with humorous treatise on the arrogance of the French, O'Rell recounts his travels to all of the English colonies. He visited Canada, described as the most loyal of the colonies, through America, and the Pacific, to Sydney, which he described as one of the two most beautiful harbours in the world. O'Rell related the bustle of Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, as well as Tasmania, with an emphasis on the English population and society in the various colonies, making comparisons across the colonies. He returned home via New Zealand and South Africa, and concluded the book with remarks about the the future of the British Empire.