The issue of truth has been one of the most constant, complex, and contentious in the cultural history of travel writing. Whether the travel was undertaken in the name of exploration, pilgrimage, science, inspiration, self-discovery, or a combination of these elements, questions of veracity and authenticity inevitably arise.
Women, Travel, and Truth is a collection of twelve essays that explore the manifold ways in which travel and truth interact in women's travel writing. Essays range in date from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in the eighteenth century to Jamaica Kincaid in the twenty-first, across such regions as India, Italy, Norway, Siberia, Austria, the Orient, the Caribbean, China and Mexico. Topics explored include blurred distinctions of fiction and non-fiction; travel writing and politics; subjectivity; displacement, and exile. Students and academics with interests in literary studies, history, geography, history of art, and modern languages will find this book an important reference.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Clare Broome Saunders Part I: Boundaries and Instabilities 2. "One Could Never Reckon Up All Her Misstatements!" Lies and Deception in the Life and Texts of Kate Mardsen, Traveller to Siberia in the 1890s Elizabeth Baigent 3. Uncovering Silences: the Elisions in Vita Sackville-West’s Passenger to Teheran Mary Henes 4. "What Norway Really Is": Women’s Travel Writing, Reality, and the Supernatural in Nineteenth-Century Norway Kate Walchester Part II: Subjectivity and Honesty 5. The Precise and the Subjective: the Guidebook Industry and Women’s Travel Writing in Late Nineteenth-Century Europe and North Africa Lori Brister 6. Refracting the Raj: Hariot Dufferin’s Photographs of India 1884 – 1888 Eadaoin Agnew 7. "If Female Envy Did Not Spoil Every Thing in the World of Women": Lies, Rivalry, and Reputation in Lady Elizabeth Craven’s Travelogues Alison Winch Part III: Travel and Reality 8. Victorian Women Writers and the Truth of "the Other Side of Italy" Claudia Capancioni 9. Reading between the Lines: the Politics of Authenticity in Naomi Mitchison’s Vienna Diary Rebecca Kirstein Harwood Part IV: Reality and Text 10. Breaking the Truth: Jamaica Kincaid and the Politics of Travel John Culbert 11. The Idle Traveller as a True Traveller in Frances Minto Elliot’s Diaries Hannah Sikstrom 12. Women Travel Writers and the Question of Veracity Maureen Mulligan
Clare Broome Saunders is a Research Fellow in English at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK.