Romantic Readers and Transatlantic Travel 1760-1840: Expeditions and Tours in North America

Romantic Readers and Transatlantic Travel 1760-1840: Expeditions and Tours in North America

Hardback Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-century Transatlantic Studies

By (author) Robin Jarvis


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  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 225 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 236mm x 24mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 28 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754668606
  • ISBN 13: 9780754668602
  • Illustrations note: includes 10 b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,698,711

Product description

Why and how did people read literature on North America by explorers, travellers, emigrants, and tourists? This is the central question Robin Jarvis takes up as he addresses a significant gap in scholarship on travel writing: its contemporary reception. Referencing reviews in the periodical press, personal journals, letters, autobiographies, marginalia, and bibliographical evidence relating to the production, distribution, and reception of travel literature, Jarvis focuses especially on the ideas and perceptions of North America expressed by individuals who never visited the subcontinent. Among the issues Jarvis explores are what the British reception of North American travel narratives says about the ways in which the United States was imagined in the Romantic period; how poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Felicia Hemans, Robert Southey, and William Wordsworth, all voracious travel readers, incorporated their readings of travel books into their works; and the ways in which the reception of North American travel writing should be contextualized within the broader contours of British society and culture. Significantly, Jarvis differentiates between different communities of readers to show the extent to which class or professional status affected the way travel literature was read. Of equally crucial importance, he discusses the reception of travel literature on Canada and the Arctic as distinct from that on the United States. His book constitutes the most thorough exploration to date of the private reading experiences of travel literature during the Romantic period.

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Author information

Robin Jarvis is Professor of English Literature at the University of the West of England. Among his related publications is Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel.

Table of contents

Introduction; Reading North America; 'A Continent of Information': America in the Periodical Press; Northern Exposure: Romantic Readers and British North America; 'Of such books we cannot have too many': Romantic Poets as Travel Readers; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.