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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Travel literature emerges in letters, diaries, journals, biographies, travel narratives, country house guides, ship’s logs, poems, plays—and the novel feeds on them all. From London as a source of topographical mystery to be penetrated even by its inhabitants, to the newly tourable country estates; from the recently domesticated wilds of Scotland and Ireland, to the paths of the Grand Tour in Europe; and from the exotic lands across the seas to life on the sea itself, the rhetorics of travel supplied hosts of models for narrative and imagery in the early novel. The novel every bit as much as travel-writing is an exercise in ethnographic observation, sharing an interest in closely observed and analysed detail, in the similarities and differences of other cultures, in the remarkableness of the ordinary and the sometimes surprising familiarity of the unknown, and with journey at the centre of both.

Keywords: country house, ethnography, exploration, Grand Tour, guidebook, journal, roads, ships, tourism, voyage

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