The Grand Tour became a rite of passage for young English aristocrats who were required to spend at least two years abroad before taking up their rightful place in society with an increased appreciation of the solidity and uprightness of English cultural institutions. Rome, seat of the Classics, was a great Empire fallen into decadence and now under the rule of dreaded "papists”. The lure of such sensuality had to be experienced but resisted.
SYLVIA SAGONA is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television and is currently researching a book on the invention of the restaurant in Paris in the 18th century.
Colonel William Gordon (1736–1816), Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787), National Trust for Scotland, Fyvie Castle