‘The Author and his Companion in the Highlands’, frontispiece to John Bristed, Athroplanomenos, or, A Pedestrian Tour through Part of the Highlands of Scotland, in 1801

Both students at Edinburgh University, John Bristed and William Cowan were among a rising number of ‘radical pedestrian’ tourists at the close of the 18th century. Inspired by the egalitarian ideas of the American and French Revolutions, they preferred to travel by foot and to investigate how the people they met on their travels lived rather than focusing on the merits of the Picturesque or the Sublime. This frontispiece shows them dressed as American sailors; a disguise intended to allow them to assess better the true condition of the people of Scotland.