John Murray's Handbooks to Italy: Making Tourism Literary

2009 | book part

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​John Murray's Handbooks to Italy: Making Tourism Literary​
Schaff, B. ​ (2009)
In:​Watson, Nicola J.​ (Ed.), Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture. ​London: ​Palgrave Macmillan UK. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230234109_10 

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Authors
Schaff, Barbara 
Editors
Watson, Nicola J.
Abstract
In the course of the nineteenth century, the Murray handbooks became formative for a distinctive way of cultured and educated travelling to the Continent, and were embraced by the British middle class not only as guidebooks but also as models for tourist practice: next to giving up-to-date and precise information about sites and the tourist infrastructure, a central concern of the handbooks was making tourists read the right thing on the spot, which not only meant reading what could be associated thematically, but also what was considered as being culturally valuable and aesthetically edifying. This paper will analyse the function of literary references in Murray’s Italian handbooks,1 particularly their use of Byron’s works and persona, and finally the ways in which tourists, largely with the help of Murray, absorbed and performed Byronic experiences and poses on their Italian travels. Murray’s extensive use of Byron not only provided tourists with cultured, elitist, anti-touristic gestures in the emerging age of mass tourism, as James Buzard has claimed, but also appropriated, familiarised and marketed Italy as a product of English Romanticism.
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
ISBN
978-0-230-23410-9
Language
English

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