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Traveling by the Book

New South Wales Railway Guides and the "Tourist Gaze"

Colin Symes

Travel guidebooks are a dominant form of tourist literature, of which one early example was the railway guide. It is commonly asserted that among the many transformations wrought by rail was that it changed the way the landscape was perceived from trains. Utilizing picturesque discourses railway guides contributed to this transformation. They also helped propel railway-allied tourism, particularly in New South Wales during the second half of the nineteenth century and led to the publication of guides focusing more on destinations than journeys.