Travel Writing and Tourism in Britain and Ireland by Benjamin Colbert (eds.)

By Benjamin Colbert (eds.)

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These were often set within wild, mountainous landscapes, which would themselves become sites of interest for picturesque tourism. 22 By the end of the eighteenth century, scenic tourism was already beginning to assimilate the curiosities Pennant had revealed in Scotland, bringing a local-exotic within the frame of domestic tourist sites. Even the remote Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, previously largely unknown even to most Scottish people, were included. The home tour was responsible here for an imaginative appropriation and domestication of the periphery, and in this respect at least, a conjunctive national identity was emerging.

His train follows the lines of his sometimes erratic and serendipitous routes, frequently digressing as particular sites become portals to discourses on natural history, antiquities, and land improvement. With increasing popular interest in the natural world, Pennant’s topographical observations combined with phenomenological realism, were in great demand. By bringing the empirical protocols and epistemological aspirations of English exploration narratives into a domestic setting, Pennant’s accounts of the 1769 tour to Scotland, and later his more extensive 1772 tour and voyage to the Hebrides, become patriotic if not nationalistic.

30 Efforts on behalf of the authorities at established resorts to stop mixed bathing did little to prevent spectators gazing at women’s bodies, and the satirist John Williams (pseud. ]31 By describing the women in her letter to Robinson, and by subsequently publishing that letter within her travelogue, Morgan commodifies them as an erotic seaside pleasure. However, hers is not a satiric text in the vein of The New Brighton Guide, and her position as a female observer, coupled with her association of the bathers with both male and female sexuality, makes Morgan’s a much more complex and ambiguous text than Williams’s.

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