Mapping Literary Britain.doc

Mapping Literary Britain.doc - Mapping Literary Britain...

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Mapping Literary Britain: Tourist Guides to Literary Landscapes 1951-2007 Deborah Philips University of Brighton [email protected] Abstract The Literary Pilgrimage is a form of tourism that seeks out the landscapes and environments that shaped an author and their works. It can take a range of forms: the houses where great writers (and often their characters) lived, worked or died, the settings of their fictional worlds, the houses and gardens that have been used in film and television adaptatons are all potential sites for literary tourism. It is the illustrated literary guide book to Britain (and often Ireland) that defines which authors and places are worthy of pilgrimage, draws these locations together, and points the literary tourist towards them. 'Literary Britain' is an object of the tourist gaze which has been constructed not only by tourist professionals, but also by literary critics and by writers. This article analyses a range of guidebooks to the literary landscapes of Britain from Bill Brandt's Literary Landscapes published in 1951 to the current edition of the Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland . The article argues that the heirachy of both sites and authors remains remarkably unchanged; Literary Britain is seen in these collections as a place that turns its back on modernity and change. The selection of sites and authors is framed by a nostalgia for the nineteenth century, and for a pre- industrial rural world. Keywords : Literature/heritage/nostalgia/pilgrimage/guidebooks/Britain Deborah Philips is Professor of Literature and Cultural History at the University of Brighton. She has written on feminist theory, tourism, television and popular culture; her publications include Writing Romance: Women's Fiction 1045-2005 (Continuum, 2006), with Ian Haywood, Brave New Causes (Cassell, 1998) and, with Liz Linington and Debra Penman Writing Well: Creative Writing and Mental Health (Jessica Kingsley, 1999)
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Mapping Literary Britain: Tourist Guides of Literary Landscapes 1951-2007 The literary pilgrimage is a form of tourism that seeks out the landscapes and environments that shaped an author and their works, and it is a form of literary understanding that prioritises the figure of the author. Literary tourism can take in a range of sites: the houses where great writers (and often their characters) lived, worked or died, the settings of their fictional worlds, the houses and gardens that have been used in film and television adaptations are all potential destinations for the literary pilgrim, and all have been promoted as attractions in regional tourist advertising. It is the illustrated literary guide book to Britain (and often Ireland) that classifies the authors and places that are deemed worthy of pilgrimage, which draws these locations together, and points the literary tourist towards them. Robinson and Andersen have argued that: . . . tourist encounters with literary attractions are mediated by inherent social preferences in respect of what works - or what physical manifestations and
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  • Spring '14
  • PatriciaG.Berman

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