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The inner lives of early modern travel

Williams, Mark R.F. 2019. The inner lives of early modern travel. Historical Journal 62 (2) , pp. 349-373. 10.1017/S0018246X18000237

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This article assesses the role of memory, interiority, and intergenerational relations in the framing of early modern experiences and narratives of travel. It adopts as its focus three generations of the Clerk family of Penicuik, Scotland, whose travels through Europe from the mid-seventeenth century onward proved formative in the creation of varied ‘cosmopolitan’ stances within the family. While such widely studied practices as the ‘Grand Tour’ have drawn on discourses of encounter and cultural engagement within the broader narratives of the ‘long’ eighteenth century, this article reveals a family made deeply anxious by the consequences of travel, both during and after the act. Using diaries, manuscript correspondence, memoirs, and material objects, this article reveals the many ways in which travel was fashioned before, during, and long after it was undertaken. By shifting focus away from the act of travel itself and towards its subsequent afterlives, it explores the ways in which these individuals internalized what they experienced in the course of travel, how they reconciled it with the familiar, quotidian world to which they returned, and how the ‘cosmopolitan’ worldviews they brought home were made to inform the generations that followed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0018-246X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 6 June 2018
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 12:36

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