British Travel Writers in Europe 1750-1800: Authorship, Gender, and National Identity
Routledge, 1 de nov. 2017 - 284 pàgines
This title was first published in 2001: Hundreds of European travelogues produced by British travellers between 1750 and 1800 remain out of sight in most libraries and have generally been out of print since the 18th century. While many people with a working knowledge of the 18th century are familiar with works including Sterne's "A Sentimental Journey" and Smollett's "Travels through France and Italy", those produced by less "literary" travellers are largely unknown. This study aims to recreate the world of 18th-century travel writing in order to illuminate its central role in shaping Britain's emerging sense of national identity - an identity which proves to be more complex an less homogeneous than some cultural and historical studies would suggest. The author finds that the developing discourse of national character is bound up with questions of gender: national and authorial virtue are projected in terms of appropriately gendered behaviour, for male and female travel writers alike. In turn, gender intersects with class, most obviously in the tendency to denigrate aristocratic travellers as effeminate and celebrate the more manly activities of the middle-class traveller. These then - national identity, authorship and gender - are the central preoccupations of the study
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Later sections of the Introduction will also address the curious absence of much significant travel poetry during this time, arguing that between Goldsmith's The Traveller in 1759 and the composition of Wordsworth's Prelude in 1805, ...
The exception which proves the rule is Goldsmith's poem, The Traveller. Published in December 1764, it saw four editions before the end of 1765, and six more within Goldsmith's lifetime. It clearly returned an echo to many a traveller's ...
addressed to Goldsmith's brother and opens with a description of the reluctant traveller's extensive European wanderings, emphasizing that 'Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,/My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee' (11. 7–8).
Goldsmith to celebrate British political virtue at the close of his poem, which advocates instead 'That bliss which only ... with reference to Goldsmith's journalism of the 1760s: 'Even the posture of nonpartisanship ... might be ...
See also Donald Davie, 'Notes on Goldsmith's Politics', in Andrew Swarbrick ed., The Art of Oliver Goldsmith (1984), 79–89, who asserts that 'The Traveller is a fervent apologia for the monarchical form of government' (84).
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