Solid Rock

Landscape and Word-Painting in the Arabias of Palgrave (1865), Pelly (1866) and Burton (1855)

in Journeys
Author: Piers Smith
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William Gifford Palgrave (1826–1888) and Lewis Pelly (1825–1895) wrote their accounts of their travels in Arabia at almost the same time. Their books can be read as alternative versions of the same reality, particularly where they describe the same peoples and places, as demonstrations of the contingency of knowledge, and as socio-psychic case-histories. Taking both landscape and traveller as ‘sites of indeterminacy,’ this essay focuses on the rhetorical styles and modes of expression each traveller-as-writer uses, finding in them complementary aspects of the travelling-subject’s separation from home and its values and incorporation or reincorporation into the home-culture. The earlier work of Richard Burton (1821–1890) on the region is taken as a model for the historically delimited conditions of production each author works within.


The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing


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