Richard Twiss (1747-1821)

Works

Life
English travel-writer and author of A Tour in Ireland in 1775 (London 1776; ?Dublin 1777), widely considered a travesty and made the object of scornful and indignant retorts by several Anglo-Irish writers such as Richard Lewis and Thomas Preston (contra his Spain and Portugal); Twiss also wrote on chess (1787) and marshalled the exhibition of the beheading-machine (la guillotine) ‘by which the late King of France suffered’, in 1793.

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Works
  • Travels through Portugal and Spain, in 1772 and 1773 . / by Richard Twiss, Esq. F.R.S. (London: printed for the author, and sold by G. Robinson, T. Becket, and J. Robson 1775), [4], iii, [1], 465, [7]pp., ill. [7 lvs. of pls., 3 folded; 1 map, music], 30 cm.; Do . [in French trans.], Voyage en Portugal et en Espagne. ... Orné d’une carte, &c . [Supplément; additions de Mr. Twiss a` son journal ]. as, 2 pts. (Berne 1776);
  • Chess: a compilation of anecdotes relative to the game, 2 vols. (London: For G. G. J & J. Robinson and T. & J. Egerton 1787-89);
  • Execution of the King of France now exhibiting at no. 28, Hay-market. La guillotine; or the beheading machine, from Paris, by which the late King of France suffered. And an exact representation of the execution ([Londo, 1793], 1 sh. 2mo. [The guillotine at 28 Haymarket was exhibited by Richard Twiss; Nat. Lib. of Scotland, at al.]; Miscellanies, 2 vols. (London: T. Egerton 1805), 8°.
 
A Tour in Ireland in 1775 [with a map, and a view of the Salmon-leap at Ballyshannon] (London [for the author]; sold by Robson; J. Walter; G. Robinson; and G. Kearsly 1776), [4], 161,166-204p., p., ill. [front.; fold. map; ) 1 pl.; 21 cm.; Do ., [3rd edn.] (Dublin: Sheppard, Corcoran, &c. 1777), 229pp., 12°; Do . [electronic repro.] (Mich.: Thomson Gale 2003); and Do . [another edn.], in The British Tourist’s Companion [W. F. Mavor] (1809), 12°; A trip to Paris, in July and August, 1792 (London: printed at the Minerva Press, and sold by William Lane, and by Mrs. Harlow 1793), [6], 131, [1]p., ill [pl.], 22 cm.
 
Reprint, A Tour in Ireland in 1775 [Dublin 1776], ed. & intro. Rachel Finnegan (UCD Press 2008), 188pp.

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Criticism
Contemporary
  • Richard Lewis, A Defence of Ireland: a poem in answer to the accounts given of it by Mr. Twiss and other writers (Dublin 1776);
  • Teresa Pinna y Ruiz [pseud. of William Preston], An Heroic Epistle from Donna T. Pinna y Ruiz, of Murcia, to R. Twiss [in verse] ... With several explanatory notes, written by himself (1776);
  • [by Leonard MacNally,] An Heroic Answer, from Richard Twiss, Esq., F.R.S., at Rotterdam, to Donna Teresa Pinna Ruiz, of Murica (1776);
 
Modern
  • Martyrs Powell, Piss-pots, Printers and Public Opinion in Eighteenth-century Dublin: Richard Twiss's Tour of Ireland (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2009), 64pp.

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Commentary
Richard Kain, Dublin in the Age of William Butler Yeats and James Joyce (Oklahoma UP 1962; Newton Abbot: David Charles 1972): ‘[...] Ireland was bewildering to him, for there he experienced what he called “intellectual regress”; that is, the more he heard, the less he understood! He received a strange commemoration, his picture being used to decorate chamber pots manufactured in Dublin. An indecent epigram on the theme was forthwith written by Lady Clare, the Lord Chancellor’s wife.’ (p.7; see further under Sir John Carr, supra.)

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References
Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast), holds signed copy of Tour in Ireland in 1775 [signed copy] (Dublin 1776); note that Do. is given as publ. 1776 in Praeger’s The Way I Went; and cf. COPAC: Tour in Ireland (Dublin: Shepperton et al. 1777), [being] 3rd edn. [no other Irish editions listed].

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