Emma GleadhillJan 16, 2024
Taking Travel Home
The Souvenir Culture of British Women Tourists, 1750-1830
Manchester University Press 2022
In the late eighteenth-century, elite British women had an unprecedented opportunity to travel. Taking travel home uncovers the souvenir culture these women developed around the texts and objects they brought back with them to realise their ambitions in the arenas of connoisseurship, friendship and science.
Key characters include forty-three-year-old Hester Piozzi (Thrale), who honeymooned in Italy; thirty-one-year-old Anna Miller, who accompanied her husband on a Grand Tour; Dorothy Richardson, who undertook various tours of England from the ages of twelve to fifty-two; and the sisters Katherine and Martha Wilmot, who travelled to Russia in their late twenties. The supreme tourist of the book, the political salon hostess Lady Elizabeth Holland, travelled to many countries with her husband, including Paris, where she met Napoleon, and Spain during the Peninsular War.
Using a methodology informed by literary and design theory, art history, material culture studies and tourism studies, Emma Gleadhill's Taking Travel Home: The Souvenir Culture of British Women Tourists, 1750-1830 (Manchester UP, 2022) examines a wide range of objects, from painted fans "of the ruins of Rome for a sequin apiece" and the Pope's "bless'd beads", to lava from Vesuvius and pieces of Stonehenge. It argues that the rise of the souvenir is representative of female agency, as women used their souvenirs to form spaces in which they could create and control their own travel narrative
Emma Gleadhill is a Melbourne-based historian and artist
Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.