Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890-1910

Overview

Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe’s Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890–1910 is a travelogue of captivating adventures through exotic lands as experienced by an intrepid American aristocrat and her son at the dawn of the twentieth century. A member of the prominent Sinkler family of Charleston and Philadelphia, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sinkler married into Philadelphia’s wealthy Coxe family in 1870. Widowed just three years later, she dedicated herself to a lifelong pursuit of philanthropy, intellectual endeavor, and extensive ...
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Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890-1910

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Overview

Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe’s Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890–1910 is a travelogue of captivating adventures through exotic lands as experienced by an intrepid American aristocrat and her son at the dawn of the twentieth century. A member of the prominent Sinkler family of Charleston and Philadelphia, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sinkler married into Philadelphia’s wealthy Coxe family in 1870. Widowed just three years later, she dedicated herself to a lifelong pursuit of philanthropy, intellectual endeavor, and extensive travel. Heeding the call of their dauntless adventuresome spirits, Lizzie and her son Eckley set sail in 1890 on a series of odysseys that would take them from the United States to Cairo, Luxor, Khartoum, Algiers, Istanbul, Naples, Vichy, and Athens. Like many of their peers in the upper echelons of American society, this wealthy duo were drawn into the Egyptian craze that swept late-nineteenth-century society, and they fully immersed themselves in the nascent field of scientific archaeology. More obsessed and philanthropic than most, the Coxes not only visited the sites and monuments of ancient civilizations but also participated in digs, funded entire expeditions, and ultimately subsidized the creation of the Coxe Wing of Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. In addition to the scholarly contributions gained through their patronage, they left a vivid chronicle of camels and trains, tents and trenches, and dervishes and pyramids that has gone unpublished until now.A prolific correspondent, Lizzie conscientiously recorded her adventures abroad in lively prose that captures the surreal exhilarations and harsh realities of traversing the known and barely known worlds of Africa and the Middle East. She journeyed through foreign lands with numerous nieces in tow to expose them to the educational and social benefits of the Grand Tour. Her letters and recollections are complemented by numerous photographs and several original watercolor paintings. By words and pictures, Lizzie Coxe’s Tales from the Grand Tour reveal the turn-of-the-century excitement about the burgeoning field of Egyptology, the intellectual pursuits available to women of means, and the familial and social ties between the upper classes of the North and South, that predated and survived the Civil War.
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What People Are Saying

Barbara Hodgson
"The diaries of Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe capture the exuberance of travel at the end of the nineteenth century. Coxe’s intrepid spirit for venturing to places as remote as Khartoum, her enthusiasm for seeing new sites, and her zest to share her travels with her family, makes for compelling reading. With the additional background material provided, this book is a valuable reference for all interested in the history of travel."
author of No Place for a Lady: Tales of Adventurous Women Travelers and Dreaming of East: Western Women and the Exotic Allure of the Orient
Carol Bleser
"Anne LeClercq has woven together materials from a number of sources to tell a story of a remarkable American woman at the turn of the twentieth century. . . . It is a fascinating story, one well-told. The editor, the great-grandniece of Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe, has worked with family papers to give us an exotic tale redolent of both the last golden years before World War I and of the excitement of the early forays into the ruins of ancient Egypt."
from the preface
James J. Bohning
"Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClerq has skillfully mixed text, journals, and letters to reveal an absorbing account of wealthy families bridging the culture gap of postbellum north and south. Her engaging narrative is replete with a montage of characters whose ideals and lifestyles were as varied as the sands over which Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe and her son Eckley Brinton Coxe Jr. traveled a century ago. Carefully enhanced with dozens of illustrations and other source materials, this book quickly comes alive to intimately join the reader with the privileged class on their travels of the Grand Tour."
Center for Emeritus Scientists in Academic Research, Lehigh University
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Product Details

Meet the Author

A native of Charleston, Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq is director of the Daniel Library at the Citadel and a great-grandniece of Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe. She holds a master's degree in librarianship from Emory University and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee. LeClercq is also editor of Between North and South: The Letters of Emily Wharton Sinkler, 1842-1865, and author of An Antebellum Plantation Household: Including the South Carolina Low Country Receipts and Remedies of Emily Wharton Sinkler.

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