When Dorothy Wordsworth arrived in Switzerland in 1820 with her brother the poet William Wordsworth, his wife Mary Wordsworth, her cousin Thomas Monkhouse, and his new wife Jane Horrocks, they were one of many middle-class family groups who adopted the practices of commercial tourism in order to see the country. Her Journal of a Tour on the Continent, which covers the three-and-a-half-month journey through France, Switzerland, and Italy, records her visits to renowned sites such as the birthplace of William Tell, the castle of Chillon, Voltaire’s château, and her brother’s path through the Alps from his walking tour of 1790. With the reopening of the Continent after the end of the Napoleonic wars, travel abroad was no longer only a privilege of wealthy men on the Grand Tour but a popular consumer enterprise supported and enhanced by guidebooks, print culture, and visual entertainments (Wood 117). Many of these were influenced by William Gilpin’s theory of the picturesque, namely an aesthetic based on the perceptual structures of art that encouraged tourists to view landscape as a picture. On her tour, Wordsworth relied on guidebooks such as William Coxe’s 1789 Travels in Switzerland and Johann Gottfried Ebel’s The Traveller’s Guide through Switzerland of 1820, as well as Robert Barker’s Alpine panoramas, prints of major sites, and her brother’s poetic depictions of his former tour in Descriptive Sketches and The Prelude.1
- Travel Journal
- Perceptual Structure
- Tourist Enterprise
- Iron Ring
- Print Culture
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© 2015 Pamela Buck
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Buck, P. (2015). Prints, Panoramas, and Picturesque Travel in Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal of a Tour on the Continent . In: Esterhammer, A., Piccitto, D., Vincent, P. (eds) Romanticism, Rousseau, Switzerland. Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137475862_8
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