I enjoy reading travelogues about places all around the world, though there is a certain sameness to them all after a while. With Argentina’s bicentennial approaching in 2010, I decided to reach back and examine an Englishman’s account of living in Buenos Aires from the early 1800s: A Five Years’ Residence in Buenos Ayres: during the years 1820 to 1825. If you want to read along, you can find the PDF over at Google Books.

The author is supposedly a guy named George Thomas Love. However, this authorship is disputed by an Argentine historian: Alejo B. González Garaño, who translated the book into Spanish. (If I’m not mistaken, González Garaño also was once the director of the Museo Histórico Nacional). From the bibliographic records it looks like González Garaño wrote a prologue to the Spanish edition. That sounds interesting. I should find a copy, there are several floating around the city, and see what he had to say. However, he attributes the author of this work not to Love but to John Luccock, an Englishman who wrote several travel accounts in South America.

So, was the author Love or Luccock? I don’t know but in the spirit of blogging and contemporary travelogues on the Internet, I will simply refer to this mysterious man as Mr. Lovecock.

Mr. Lovecock’s impression of Buenos Aires… from page 156:

A person will not be long in Buenos Ayres without picking up acquaintances with its inhabitants; amongst whom are some very intelligent young men. I have sometimes thought it would give me pleasure to conduct one of them to England, to be – not exactly a Mentor (needing that myself), but a sort of escort to him in the modern Babylon, London.

Ah, throughout the city’s history all good foreigners have picked up sexy Argentines. More of Mr. Lovecock’s adventures in early Buenos Aires in subsequent postings….