Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-16
  • Publisher: Routledge

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With cheaper publishing costs and the explosion of periodical publishing, the influence of New World travel narratives was greater during the 19th century than ever before, as they offered an understanding not only of America through British eyes, but also a lens though which 19th-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 Worldfrom 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 Croweall contributed to the continued building of America as a construct for audiences at home. The 'idea of America' created in part through these travelers' stories and images thus offered early on a developing nation over which Britons could crow about their own enlightened sophistication, and a democratic model through which to posit their own future. Later it offered a peek into what modernity was to look like, demonstrating the importance of transatlantic travel writing and the 'idea of America' in 19th-century Britain.

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