Nineteenth-century British Travelers in the New World

Nineteenth-century British Travelers in the New World

eBook - 2013
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Lightning Source, Inc. Ebooks
By creating an 'idea of America,' popular New World travel writing offered an understanding of America through British eyes, and a lens through which nineteenth-century Britain could view itself. Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World demonstrates the importance of nineteenth-century New World travel writing, examining narratives by some of the popular writers of the day, as well as paintings and drawings by travelling artists.

& Francis Publishing

With cheaper publishing costs and the explosion of periodical publishing, the influence of New World travel narratives was greater during the nineteenth century than ever before, as they offered an understanding not only of America through British eyes, but also a lens though which nineteenth-century Britain could view itself. Despite the differences in purpose and method, the writers and artists discussed in Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World-from Fanny Wright arriving in America in 1818 to the return of Henry James in 1904, and including Charles Dickens, Frances Trollope, Isabella Bird, Fanny Kemble, Harriet Martineau, and Robert Louis Stevenson among others, as well as artists such as Eyre Crowe-all contributed to the continued building of America as a construct for audiences at home. These travelers' stories and images thus presented an idea of America over which Britons could crow about their own supposed sophistication, and a democratic model through which to posit their own future, all of which suggests the importance of transatlantic travel writing and the ‘idea of America’ to nineteenth-century Britain.

Book News
Most scholarship on travel literature has focused on accounts of travel to places very different from Europe, including the early Americas. Here scholars of literature and art examine accounts of British travelers to the New World in order to help understand how 19th-century Britain viewed itself as part of the transatlantic world during a crucial time in the development of Anglo-American relations. In sections on imagining a new world, politics and its discontents, and heading south to the slave states, they consider such aspects as John Muir and Robert Louis Stevenson in California, the failure of Dickens' transatlantic dream in American Notes, Fanny Trollope visits Charles Bird King's portraits of Indian chiefs, Harriet Martineau's transatlantic abolitionism, cultural role-playing and surrogate narration in Kemble's Georgian journal, and alien national narrative in Henry James' The American Scene. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2013
ISBN: 9781409427278
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 319 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: DeVine, Christine 1947-


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