Ingrid Horrocks

Jan 10, 2020

Women Wanderers and the Writing of Mobility, 1784–1814

Cambridge University Press 2019

purchase at bookshop.org Ingrid Horrocks talks about the way women travelers, specifically women wanderers, are represented in late-eighteenth century literature, particularly in the work of women writers. Horrocks in an associate professor in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the author of Women Wanderers and the Writing of Mobility, 1784–1814 (Cambridge University Press, 2019). In the last days of the Scandinavian journey that would become the basis of her great post-Revolutionary travel book, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote, 'I am weary of travelling - yet seem to have no home - no resting place to look to - I am strangely cast off'. From this starting point, Ingrid Horrocks reveals the significance of representations of women wanderers in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, particularly in the work of women writers. She follows gendered, frequently reluctant wanderers beyond travel narratives into poetry, gothic romances, and sentimental novels, and places them within a long history of uses of the more traditional literary figure of the male wanderer. Drawing out the relationship between mobility and affect, and illuminating textual forms of wandering, Horrocks shows how paying attention to the figure of the woman wanderer sheds new light on women and travel, and alters assumptions about mobility's connection with freedom.
Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration.

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Michael F. Robinson