English Travel Narratives in the Eighteenth Century: Exploring Genres, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

English Travel Narratives in the Eighteenth Century

Exploring Genres, 1st Edition

By Jean Viviès


144 pages

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The eighteenth century, commonly described as the age of the novel, is also the golden age of travel narratives. In this English edition of Le Récit de voyage en Angleterre au XVIIIe siècle, the genre of the travel narrative receives a treatment based on its development in close relationship with fiction. The book provides a survey of famous travel narratives: James Boswell's journal of a tour to Corsica and account of his trip to Scotland with Samuel Johnson, Laurence Sterne's enigmatic Sentimental Journey, Tobias Smollett's Travels through France and Italy. Negotiating between inventory and invention, these texts invite a reconsideration of conventional generic distinctions. They open up a literary space in which the full significance of the real and fictional journey motif can be explored.


'… a scholarly version of Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel…' ChoiceReviews 'Viviès's study […] makes compelling reading, particularly in fostering the connection between travel writing and narrative theory.' Studies in Travel Writing 'English Travel Narratives will appeal to those interested in the novelistic genre as well as to eighteenth-century historians and scholars of early travel narratives. As part of the Studies in Early Modern English Literature Series, this book presents a provocative ensemble of works that interrogate the characteristics that define travel narratives versus those associated with a novel.' Libraries and Culture

Table of Contents

Contents: General editor's preface; Part I: Prefatory essay; Part II: Introduction; James Boswell and Samuel Johnson; Tobias Smollett: deciphering letters; Laurence Sterne: the voyage and its double; The vagaries of the picaresque; Conclusion: The travel narrative and literary criticism; Chronological landmarks; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Studies in Early Modern English Literature

Studies in Early Modern English Literature
The series focuses on literary writing of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its objectives are to examine the individuals, trends, and channels of influence of the period between the Renaissance and the rise of Romanticism. During this period the English novel was invented, poetry began to tackle its unsteady relationship with non-literary discourse, and post-Shakespearean drama reinvented itself. Alongside studies of established figures, the series aims to include books on important but lesser-known writers and those who are acknowledged as significant but given slight attention: typically, William Cartwright, James Shirley, John Denham, Edmund Waller, Isaac Watts, Matthew Prior, William D. Avenant, Mark Akenside and John Dyer. Also of particular interest are studies of the development of literary criticism in this period, monographs which deal with the conditions and practicalities of writing including the practices of the publishing trade and financial and social circumstances of writing as a profession and books which give special attention to the relationship between literature and other arts and discourses. Monographs on a variety of writers and topics will be accepted; authors are invited to combine the best traditions of detailed research with astute critical analysis. The use of contemporary theoretical approaches will be acceptable, but every book will be founded primarily upon historical, biographical and textual scholarship.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature