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Travellers, Novelists, and Gentlemen

Constructing Male Narrative Personae in British Travel Books, from the Beginnings to the Second World War


Grzegorz Moroz

Travel writing studies have been focused mostly on women travel writers and on representations of the world and the other. This book adopts a novel perspective which diachronically combines the issues of genre and gender. The author postulates that the genre of the travel book in the British literary tradition was established and developed in the eighteenth century alongside the novel and the autobiography. He cogently presents the developments in earlier non-fictional travel narratives in order to expose both their similarities and fundamental differences from modern travel books. Underlying his research is the conviction that the narrative personae of travel books have always been placed in the foreground because of the key role of sentimental discourse and celebrity culture. This book competently analyses the main trends, techniques and constraints in the process of constructing male narrative personae in British travel books written between 1755 and 1939.


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Chapter Four The Narrative Personae of D.H. Lawrence’s Travel Books Literary Paths to Twilight in Italy Twilight in Italy was D.H. Lawrence’s first travel book. He wrote, or rather, to use his own expression, “prepared” it, in 1915 and it was published in 1916.1 The book consists of ten essays, or sketches. The setting is on Lake Garda in the seven essays in the main and middle part entitled “On the Lago di Garda.” The remaining three essays are set on the persona’s walking routes to Italy: in the opening essay, “The Crucifix Across the Mountains,” from Bavaria through the Brenner Pass to Lake Garda, while in the two final essays (“Italians in Exile” and “The Return Journey”) on the route from Switzerland through the Godhard Pass back to Italy. The essays are the reflections and results of D.H. Lawrence’s first two extended sojourns in Italy; the first one started with Lawrence’s walking across the Alps from Bavaria with Frieda in August 1912 and continued with their stay in Gargnano and San Gaudienzio on Lake Garda until May in 1913. The second lasted from September in 1913 until June in 1914 when they stayed mostly near La Spezia in the Liguria region. D.H. Lawrence’s choice of the verb “to prepare” to refer to what he was doing in 1915 with his travel sketches reflects the complex nature of the whole project, for Lawrence used the earlier versions of his essays and re-wrote them, thoroughly editing many fragments and adding whole...

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