Journeys to Authority: Reassessing Women's Early Travel Writing, 1763–1862

Thompson, Carl (2017) Journeys to Authority: Reassessing Women's Early Travel Writing, 1763–1862. Women's Writing, 24 (2). pp. 1-20. ISSN 0969-9082

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This article introduces a Special Issue of Women's Writing on the theme of women's travel writing. It maps the bibliography and broad trajectory of women's travel writing (principally in its published rather than unpublished form) across the period 1763 to 1862, and argues that the intellectual and literary achievement embodied in this material has been consistently under-estimated in recent scholarship. This is due in part to a modern dismissal of the travel writing form, a dismissal which is anachronistic when applied to a period when travelogues could be a major vehicle for debate and the dissemination of knowledge. And it is partly due to modern misunderstandings of the protocols of intellectual and scientific activity in the specified period. This introduction accordingly reconstructs these very different contexts for women's travel writing to show how the form enabled them to engage with and contribute to a range of contemporary debates and discourses such as science, political economy and art history; and it further demonstrates that these contributions were often more celebrated at the time than is now appreciated, with some women travel writers gaining widespread contemporary recognition for their literary and intellectual accomplishments.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in 'Women's Writing' on 05/08/2016, available online:”
School/Department: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Carl Thompson
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 14:02
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 01:30


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