People Staff
January 30, 1978 12:00 PM

by Louis-Philippe

In 1796 Louis-Philippe of France came to America and was soon joined by his two younger brothers. He kept diaries of their travels while one of his brothers painted landscapes. “Still nasty, inhospitable country, sparsely settled. We reached Knoxville early…Five years ago there was not a single house here. Now there are over a hundred. We are lodging in one of the oldest, but laziness has so pervaded the way of life that they have not yet plugged up the holes in the outer walls cut for scaffolding when they built the house… Our horses are indifferently cared for, but the common board (where we are obliged by local custom to take our meals) is not bad.” The author, who later became king of France, produced a remarkably clear-eyed and entertaining account of early American life. Period art illustrates this charming book. (Delacorte, $14.95)

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