Modernity and Meaning in Victorian London Tourist Views of the Imperial Capital

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-06-11
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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The vicissitudes of nineteenth-century travel are on full display in this work, as Joseph De Sapio examines the motivation, mechanics, and mobilities of tourism to Victorian London through an industrialising world. The city brought into focus the complex factors and technologies affecting questions of identity within modernising cultures, and explored the interrelation of activity between metropolitan Britons and overseas visitors. With its crowds, sounds, and sights on full display, London provided the backdrop for self-conscious reflection on the part of the tourist: how did they understand themselves to be socially and culturally distinct within a world made smaller by steamships, telegraphs and railways? Was there one specifically 'modern' world to which all nations should aspire, or was it possible to have many divergent paths? How would technology transform the way humans related to one another? In travelling to London, these individuals sought to define the modern world and their place within it.

Author Biography

Joseph De Sapio obtained his doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK, in 2011. He is currently working on an economic model of tourist visits to London, and a larger project which examines colonial sailors in the Royal Navy during the nineteenth century.

Table of Contents

1. 'The Bonds of Empire and Imperial Fraternity': London as Imperial Capital
2. 'How Differently We Go Ahead in America': American Constructions of British Modernity
3. 'A Kingdom In Itself': Domestic Perceptions of Metropolitan Space
4. 'England Has No Greatness Left Save her Industry': A Path to Disharmony

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