March 15, 2014
Dorothy Wordsworth’s 1820 Journal of a Tour on the Continent and Mary Shelley’s 1844 Rambles illustrate two 19th-century approaches to the phenomenon of the Grand Tour: the Romantic (a traveller’s) and the anti-Romantic (a tourist’s). In terms of chronology, it would seem that both texts fully represent the Romantic approach to travel. However, this assumption will be tested in the present article. For a discussion thereof, apart from an overview of Chloe Chard’s characteristics of both approaches (1999), John Urry’s observations on tourist gazes (1995) may prove useful, if aspects of the anti-Romantic approach are determined in either text. A detailed examination reveals that Mary Shelley tends towards the concept of tourism rather than explorative travel despite embracing the national problems of her Italian “travelees.” Dorothy Wordsworth’s travelogue, in turn, reflects the attitudes of the Romantic era.