How did eighteenth-century travellers experience, describe and represent the urban environments they encountered as they made the Grand Tour? This fascinating book focuses on the changing responses of the British to the cities of Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice, during a period of unprecedented urbanisation at home. Drawing on a wide range of unpublished material, including travel accounts written by women, Rosemary Sweet explores how travel literature helped to create and perpetuate the image of a city; what the different meanings and imaginative associations attached to these cities were; and how the contrasting descriptions of each of these cities reflected the travellers' own attitudes to urbanism. More broadly, the book explores the construction and performance of personal, gender and national identities, and the shift in cultural values away from neo-classicism towards medievalism and the gothic, which is central to our understanding of eighteenth-century culture and the transition to modernity.
About the Author
Rosemary Sweet is Professor of Urban History at the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester. Her previous publications include The English Town, Government, Society and Culture (1999) and Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2004).
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Experiencing the Grand Tour; 2. Florence: a home from home; 3. Rome ancient and modern; 4. Naples: leisure, pleasure and a frisson of danger; 5. Venice: a place of singularity and spectacle; 6. Medievalism and the Grand Tour; Conclusion; Bibliography.