Italy and the Grand Tour

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Overview

For members of the social elite in eighteenth-century England, extended travel for pleasure came to be considered part of an ideal education as well as an important symbol of social status. Italy, and especially Rome-a fashionable, exciting, and comfortable city-became the focus of such early tourists' interest. In this distinctive book, historian Jeremy Black recreates the actual tourist experiences of those who traveled to Italy on a Grand Tour. Relying on the private diaries and personal letters of travelers, rather than on the self-conscious accounts of literary travelers who wrote for wider audiences, the book presents a fresh and authentic picture of how British tourists experienced Italy, its landscapes, women, food, music, Catholicism, and more. Using material from archives across Britain and a generous selection of illustrations, the book highlights the discrepancy between the idealized view of the Grand Tour and its reality: what people were meant to do was not necessarily what they did, what the guide books described as splendid was not always so perceived. Black discusses what Italian experiences meant to British visitors, and he considers the effects of tourism on British culture during this most exciting of centuries.Jeremy Black is professor of history at the University of Exeter and previously held the same position at the University of Durham. He has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Australia and is the editor of the journal Archives.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the early 18th century, most British tourists to Italy were elite males and members of the royal family. Known as jolly joys and bearleaders, these travelers made Italy, and Rome in particular, their main destination. As noted by Black (history, Univ. of Exeter, England), Italy was the theme park of that era. In this study of the experiences of those who traveled to Italy on the so-called Grand Tour, Black brings a scholar's eye to a bygone era of tourism, presenting a very thorough description of the period, with excerpts from letters and diary entries by those who took the arduous journey. As Black observes, getting to Italy was often a challenge. Traversing the Alps by carriage, mule, and sedan chairs carried by two men, these tourists often took up to a year to complete their journey, often having to pass through independent duchys and the Papal States in order to reach Rome. The solid text is richly enhanced by numerous color reproductions of paintings depicting the various regions of Italy. A fine addition to large public libraries as well as academic collections.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Santa Maria, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300099775
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Dates and Currency
Preface
Map
1 Introduction 1
2 Sources 17
3 Into Italy 23
4 From the Alps to the Arno 33
5 Rome and the South 46
6 Accommodation 68
7 Food and Drink 75
8 Transport 81
9 Cost and Finance 94
10 Hazards 104
11 Activities 118
12 Social and Political Reflections 142
13 Religion 166
14 The Arts 174
15 The Impact of Italy 203
16 Conclusions 217
17 Epilogue 223
Notes 225
Bibliography 241
Index 246
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