In her study of the opening of the English Lake District to mass tourism, Saeko Yoshikawa examines William Wordsworth’s role in the rise and development of the region as a popular destination. For the middle classes on holiday, guidebooks not only offered practical information, but they also provided a fresh motive and a new model of appreciation by associating writers with places. The nineteenth century saw the invention of Robert Burns’s and Walter Scott’s Borders, Shakespeare’s Stratford, and the BrontÃ« Country as holiday locales for the middle classes. Investigating the international cult of Wordsworthian tourism, Yoshikawa shows both how Wordsworth’s public celebrity was constructed through the tourist industry and how the cultural identity of the Lake District was influenced by the poet’s presence and works. Informed by extensive archival work, her book provides an original case study of the contributions of Romantic writers to the invention of middle-class tourism and the part guidebooks played in promoting the popular reputations of authors.
Saeko Yoshikawa, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan.
Prize: Recipient of the 2014 Fukuhara Award from the Fukuhara Memorial Fund for the Study of English and American Literature ’...a comprehensive study of nineteenth-century travel guides alongside frequent references to memoirs, essays, periodical reviews, illustrated anthologies and poetry. An appendix of Key Texts summarizes this material for easy reference. ...as a case study for the ways in which popular, print and material cultures can shape a poetic reputation, Yoshikawa contributes to the ongoing scholarly expansion of traditional ’reception’ histories.’ Times Literary Supplement 'This book's thoroughness sets it apart. ... Historians will want this reference on the shelf ...' NBOL-19 '...provide[s] a fascinating insight into the creative exchange that was forged between place, poem, image and text, demonstrating the hold Wordsworth's Lake District had over popular imagination. [...]The study is particularly useful for its description of the changing tradition of guidebooks and a comprehensive appendix which lists in chronological order the key texts from 1792 to 1900 that developed Wordsworthian tourism. It will prove a useful text for those researching the development of literary tourism in general or the Lake District in particular, and its accessible language will also open it to those reading purely for personal interest.' Review of English Studies 'A book brimful of fascinating details ... to be welcomed as full of variety and of historical perspectives with which most literary critics will be unfamiliar, but which allow the poetry and prose of the Lakes to be approached with an informed, as well as quizzical eye, while still demonstrating its significance and geographical legacy.' European Romantic Review