We are gradually gaining a better understanding of men’s wanderlust in the early modern period. 1 Their motives were as varied as the routes they took and the processes by which they put their narratives down on paper. In this vast galaxy of travels, which extends far beyond the nobility’s Grand Tour, we have a fairly good idea of the movements of a number of representatives of the ‘economic community’, in particular those of merchants and ship owners who tended to write for their friends and family rather than for posterity. This fact sets them apart from ‘scientists’, whose travels could help establish their reputation and were for this reason often published. 2 The latter contributed, moreover, to the development of more specialised travel practices in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, like those of naturalists, archaeologists, alpinists and statisticians. 3