Camping in China with the Divine Jane

The Travel Writing of Reginald Farrer

in Journeys
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Reginald Farrer (1880-1920) was a British writer and gardener who traveled and botanized in the western provinces of China during the early decades of the twentieth century. Farrer is perhaps best known for his contributions to gardening writing and botanical exploration; however, the primary focus of this article is his literary interests, and in particular, the intertexual relationship between his writing and Jane Austen's novels. Although scholarly work has investigated the postcolonial dimensions of Austen's fiction, little attention has been paid to the ways in which Austen's novels literally traveled. This article examines how Austen's fiction provided an unlikely lens for Farrer's view of China's border regions, and investigates both the difficulties and the liberating potential of reading Jane Austen in such an informal imperial context.

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing