Canadian Travellers in Europe, 1851-1900

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UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 210 pages
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This book provides both a detailed survey of Canadian travel writing in the nineteenth century and an unusual perspective on Canadian cultural history. The Canadians who wrote about their experiences abroad during the era of mass travel which followed the advent of the steamship reveal much about themselves and their own country as well.

Who were these travellers, why did they travel, and what did they expect to see? In answering these questions, Eva-Marie Kroller draws upon a wide variety of materials: novels, guide books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, paintings, and previously unpublished letters and diaries. The self-assured progress of the privileged Canadian travellers often turned into introspective voyages of self-discovery. For one thing, Europeans often mistook them for Americans, and many had to ask themselves what it really meant to be Canadian. In addition, the tone of moral earnestness which pervades the early travellers' tales begins to give way to a certain world-weariness by the end. In Canada and elsewhere, the 'tourist' was a new phenomenon at the beginning of the period, but an accepted part of the modern world by the end of it. Canadian Travellers in Europe will be required reading for devotees of travel writing, but it is also a significant contribution to nineteenth-century Canadian history.


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Ms. Kroller's book was a very useful source of background material for my epistolary novel, "Imagining Violet" when I needed to know how people travelled and what obstacles they encountered later in the century when travel had become more commonplace. But for a young girl of 16, travelling alone from Edinburgh to Leipzig, I needed help imagining the journey. Later she emigrates to Canada, and I needed to know what steam ship travel was like too.  


1 Introduction
2 The Journals of Fred C Martin and Nérée Gingras
3 The Modernization of Travel Guide Books and Travel Satire
Social and Cultural Aspects of Travel in Victorian Canada
5 Women Travellers
6 Metaphors of Travel
7 Views of European Cities
8 Canadians at World Expositions
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About the author (2011)

Eva-Marie Kroller is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of British Columbia.

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