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Beyond the Traveller’s Gaze

Alù, Giorgia

Beyond the Traveller’s Gaze

Expatriate Ladies Writing in Sicily (1848-1910)

Year of Publication: 2008

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 282 pp., 36 ill.
ISBN 978-3-03911-053-7 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.400 kg, 0.882 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book offers a stimulating analysis of three non-canonical texts in different genres written by British women who lived in Sicily in the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. These texts cover a series of crucial political events as well as social and cultural changes which affected the history of Sicily during the period in question, all seen through the direct and indirect experiences of the authors. The book offers a historical perspective on the late-Victorian and Edwardian representations of post-Unification Italy. At the same time the author challenges current critical literature on travel writing which tends to analyse travel texts without making substantial distinction between works written during a brief visit to a foreign country and those produced during a long-term or permanent residence.
The book adopts an interdisciplinary, comparative approach. The three texts are studied by looking at patterns of connection in other written and visual works produced during, or after, an experience in Italy. By drawing on theories of travel writing, genre and gender, along with visual and cultural studies, the author aims to verify how the three texts respond to being analysed as a distinct group, and hence define the specific roles and functions of expatriate women’s writing.


Contents: Women’s travel and expatriation – 19th-century British women in Sicily – British and Italian representations of the Mezzogiorno – Italian Unification – Women and the Italian Risorgimento – Female epistolary voice – Ethnographic vogue – Family and historical memoir – Iconography of Southern Italy – Women and photography.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Giorgia Alù has been teaching Italian at the University of Warwick, where she also completed a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her publications focus on nineteenth-century representations of Italy, women’s travel writing, the relationship between literature and photography, and contemporary Italian women writing on migration.