The Englishman's England: Taste, Travel and the Rise of Tourism
“If my journals should remain legible, or be perused at the end of 200 years, there will, even then, be little curious in them relative to travel, or the people, because our island is now so explored; our roads, in general, are so fine; and our speed has reach'd the summit.” Or so one late eighteenth century traveller thought, reminding us that the English tourist industry is not the modern creation we often suppose.
In this fascinating and original study Ian Ousby investigates the landmarks chosen by the English for their leisure travel over the centuries. He looks in particular at four types of attraction still prominent on the tourist map of England: literary shrines, country houses, picturesque ruins and the natural landscape. All these first became objects of fashionable attention during the eighteenth century, when improvements in transport combined with a spirit of practical inquiry to breed the first generation of travellers who called themselves ‘tourists’.
Drawing on a wide range of sources -
“Not a guidebook, not a travel book, but a pioneer work of what we must call ‘tourist history’, written, moreover, with elegance and style. Like all good history it contains valuable lessons for the future as well as the past, and should be required reading for all who know and care about the beauties, natural and architectural, of our country."
John Julius Norwich
“In relating the evolution of such attractions as Poet's Corner, Stratford-