Gender, Curiosity, and the Grand Tour

Late-Eighteenth-Century British Travel Writing

in Journeys
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  • 1 Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands a.geurts@let.ru.nl
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Abstract

Discussions of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European travel have long tended to over-apply the model of the grand tour. It is increasingly recognized now that many British journeys to the Continent knew different motivations and itineraries, and were made from different subject positions than that of the young male aristocrat. An alternative model proposed for female travelers has its own limitations, however. It presents women as more open-minded than men, with a greater eye for detail and keen to escape patriarchal confinement at home. Yet female travelers’ wish and capacity to offer an alternative to the grand-tourist gaze was limited. Still, travel, travel writing, and publishing offered women a chance to explore new social models and lifestyles and develop new forms of personal independence.

Contributor Notes

Anna P.H. Geurts (Radboud University Nijmegen) obtained her DPhil degree in modern history at the University of Oxford and her PhD in the history of technology and material culture at Twente University. She specializes in travel and “ordinary” experiences of space and time. Former Research Associate National Railway Museum at the University of Sheffield, she is now preparing a monograph on Travel and Space in Nineteenth-Century Europe, published by Routledge. As a public historian, she publishes on language and material culture in various print and online periodicals, including Historian at Large. Email: a.guerts@let.ru.nl. ORCID: 0000-0002-2853-7622.

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing

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