Book Review: Tourists and Travellers (Eco Libris)

Right now, at 1 p.m. EST, 200 bloggers have simultaneously published reviews of 200 books printed on eco-friendly paper to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. Participation this year has doubled from 2009.

As my part of this great celebration, I am reviewing a textbook called:

Tourists and Travellers:  Women's Non-fictional Writing about Scotland, 1770-1830 by Betty Hagglund

From the Publisher:

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, travel and tourism in Scotland changed radically, from a time when there were very few travellers and no provision for those that there were, through to Scotland's emergence as a fully fledged tourist destination with the necessary physical and economic infrastructure. As the experience of travelling in Scotland changed, so too did the ways in which travellers wrote about their experiences. "Tourists and Travellers" explores the changing nature of travel and of travel writing in and about Scotland, focusing on the writings of five women - Sarah Murray, Anne Grant, Dorothy Wordsworth, Sarah Hazlitt and the anonymous female author of "A Journey to the Highlands of Scotland". It further examines the specific ways in which those women represented themselves and their travels and looks at the relationship of gender to travel writing, relating that to issues of production and reception as well as to questions of discourse.

My Review:

Some people might think it strange that a never-stay-at-home mom would review a tourism textbook, but in reality it hits a pair of hot buttons for me - my own major - history and my husband's major ... which he has three degrees, including his PhD, tourism.  I've become a fan of tourism history almost by osmosis... and this book doesn't disappoint.  

Although it is written in an academic style, there are glimpses into what real women of the time thought, felt and did during this fascinating period of history.

One of my favorite exerpts comes from a Sarah Murray, who was enterprising enough to not only journey from London to Scotland, but to do so in 1793 with the purpose of writing a guidebook!
The weather was hot and the mists were floating, sometimes along the sides of the majestic mountains, at others covering their summits, and again rolling through the vallies below, in a style I never had seen before;  it was like Ossian's "Shadowy breeze that poured its dark wave over the grass" (1803: 139)
While this book is very genre specific, there is a lot to recommend it if you have an interest in women's history or the history of tourism.

Author Biography:
Betty Hagglund is a Research Fellow on the ‘Maria Graham: The Woman Writer and the Cultures of Travel, Science and Publishing in the early 19th century’ project at Nottingham Trent University. She has published extensively on travel writing and women’s writing of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the editor of three volumes of women’s nineteenth-century travel writing about Italy published by Pickering and Chatto.