“This cannot be the south of France, (said I to myself) it must be the Highlands of Scotland!” In Letter XII of his occasionally grumpy but entertaining Travels through France and Italy, written in Nice on December 6, 1763, Tobias Smollett, author of various picaresque adventures, recounts the time spent at Fréjus, “the Forum Julianum of the antients”, and the day he climbed on the back of a mule to take him up the mountains behind the city in order to inspect the famous aqueducts left by the Roman water engineers. Smollett and his Jamaican wife Anne had left London…

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