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Travel Writing


  • How is Italy configured/described by each of the writers?
  • What do you understand by 'real' and 'imagined' spaces and how are they reflected in the works of the writers.
  • What does Vernon Lee mean by the 'genius loci'?
  • Do politics feature in the works, if so how?

Key Reading

Mariana Starke, Travels in Italy (see for example Letter XVI)

Selina Bunbury, A Visit to the Catacombs

Vernon Lee, The Sentimental Traveller (see for example chapter 12)

Barbara Schaff, Handbook of British Travel Writing, chapters 3 and 16

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entries on Bunbury, Lee and Starke

Further Reading

Mirella Agorni, Translating Italy for the Eighteenth Century: Women, Translation and Travel Writing

Tess Cosslett, ‘Revisiting Fictional Italy, 1887-1908: Vernon Lee, Mary Ward, and E. M. Forster’, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, 52.3 (2009): 312–28.

Elizabeth Crawford, Mariana Starke

Heidi Hansson, 'Selina Bunbury, Religion and the Woman Writer' in James Murphy, The Oxford History of the Irish Book

Kathryn Walchester, Our Own Fair Italy: Nineteenth-Century Women's Travel Writing and Italy, 1800-1844

Alison Chapman and Jane Stabler, Unfolding the South: Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers and Artists in Italy

Leonie Wanitzek, 'The South! something exclaims within me': Real and Imagined Spaces in Italy and the South in Vernon Lee's Travel Writing', Printemps, 83 (2016)

Jeanne Moskal, ‘Gender and Italian Nationalism in Mary Shelley’s Rambles in Germany and Italy’, Romanticism, 5 (1999), 188-201

Vernon Lee at Sestri

Vernon Lee at Sestri in 1914