travel . . . [orig. the same word as TRAVAIL sb, in a specialized sense and form; the latter due to shifting of stress.]
1. Labour, toil, suffering, trouble; labour of child-birth, etc.: see TRAVAIL sb.
2. a. The action of travelling or journeying.
              (from OED 2)

our word 'travel' originally -- and recently -- derives from 'travail', which not only connotes but denotes suffering or labour or both (as in the travail of childbirth). The entry in the Oxford English Dictionary for 'travel' suggests that the seventeenth century was the period of transition when both terms were widely used to mean roughly what we mean by 'travel', with 'travail' persisting into the early eighteenth century and 'travel' rarely appearing before the seventeenth.
              (Anne D. Wallace, Walking, Literature, and English Culture (1993), p. 19)

These men [e.g. John Thelwall, Joseph Hucks] made a conscious effort to 'level' themselves socially, disregarding their appearance or actively disguising their gentility, wilfully embracing the hardships of pedestrian travel, and setting off in many cases in defiance of family expectations and inherited standards of behaviour; they undertook their journeys in the name of, or in the spirit of, values -- such as that of universal brotherhood -- thought to be submerged in their own society; and their gravitation to the remoter parts of the kingdom answered to a Romantic-primitivist interest in the simple and unsophisticated, as well as to a yearning to experience the 'mystical powers' of sublime natural scenery.
              (Robin Jarvis, Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel (1997), p. 38)

Special difficulties faced women walkers, especially if they walked alone, because their peripateia translated as sexual wandering. This interpretation derives in part from traditional lower-class courtship patterns, in which 'walking out' with someone was the equivalent of steady dating or engagement today. Often . . . walking out was understood to include sexual intercourse . . .
              (Anne D. Wallace, Walking, Literature, and English Culture (1993), p. 29-30)

[Dangers of the road] What set the scene for all kinds of mercantile and criminal highway robbery was undoubtedly the roads themselves, which were so poorly marked, badly built, and irregularly maintained that they often reduced the pace of already slow vehicles to a crawl, making the passengers easy targets for poor innkeepers and desperate highwaymen alike. . . . The quality of even the best-maintained roads was extremely poor until the innovations of the road builders John Metcalfe, Thomas Telford, and John MacAdam in the late eighteenth century began to make stable, smooth-surfaced roads possible.
              (Anne D. Wallace, Walking, Literature, and English Culture (1993), p. 23)

Referentially grounded or not, the walk is a potent trope for centering the representation of a subject, a perceiving and thinking self that achieves a minimum of stability in inverse proportion to the slowly altering surroundings. [It] offers valuable glimpes of this subject-in-motion, an entity very different to the transcendental ego pilloried by critiques of Romantic ideology.
              (Robin Jarvis, Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel (1997), p. 84)

But there is more than one way of seeing objects. One has to distinguish between the matter of simple seeing, where the object prompts us to perceive a specific form, and cases where no well-established ways of perceiving exist. In the latter instance, the sudden access of visual meaning is equivalent to discovery. This mode of perception is endemic to a period that valued the factual, that doted on meticulous observation, that dwelled on experience.
              (Barbara Maria Stafford, "Toward Romantic Landscape Perception: Illustrated Travels and the Rise of 'Singularity' as an Aesthetic Category." Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 10 (1981), 17-75, p. 59)

To stumble upon otherness without foreknowledge is the experiential equivalent of launching one's creative imagination into the visionary mode, unhampered by reason.
              (Roger Cardinal, "Romantic Travel." In R. Porter (Ed.), Rewriting the Self: Histories from the Renaissance to the Present (1997), p. 147)

The travel writer, like the aesthetic subject, was normatively male in an age when the home was literally and symbolically woman's place. The imaginary topographies of Western travel, its stagings of self and other, were systematically gendered and powerfully institutionalized. Women did not fit the traveler's image as heroic explorer, scientist, or authoritative cultural interpreter. . . . Women writing the language of landscape aesthetics work through their exclusion from the political, social, and cultural privileges of the gentleman. As their travels put distance between them and the gentleman's home turf, they seem emboldened to experiment with aesthetics' symbolic encoding of a social world viewed from the top down.
              (Elizabeth Bohls, Women Travel Writers and the Language of Aesthetics, 1716-1818 (1995), pp. 17-18)

This model of culture as a process 'outside' ordinary workaday reality finds a clear embodiment in the temporary separation of the tourist from home, a physical fact which since the early nineteenth century has invited interpretation as a psychic liberation from domestic social life and the self defined there. If the tour thus acts out the equation of domestic life with compromised social existence and of cultural 'holiday life' with self-actualization, then 'the tourist' becomes the figure who fails to employ objects of culture in the manner appropriate to successful acculturation; scores of passages in nineteenth-century travel-writing comment disdainfully on tourists' conspicuous failures of taste.
              (James Buzard, The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to Culture, 1800-1918 (1993), p. 8)

The Picturesque stands at the hinge between 'estate culture' and 'bourgeois culture.' It tried to reconcile, at least momentarily, a passing world based on nontemporal, static classification with an emerging one that emphasized transformation and focused on structure rather than taxonomy. The increasing mobility of ideas, people, and resources required a level of abstraction and placelessness that the specifics of the land could no longer support.
              (Sidney K. Robinson, Inquiry into the Picturesque (1991), p. 143)

[Gilpin's appeal] The appeal . . . is to a class sufficiently affluent to travel but unlikely to possess lands sufficient to the acting out of improving fantasies. Hence, once assumes, the appeal of Gilpin's picturesque to the lesser gentry, whose way of life was passing away in the last decades of the eighteenth century as surely as was that of the small freehold farmer. As with the more or less synchronous and often contiguous cult of sensibility, the appeal of the picturesque seems centered in those fractions of gentry society who were being passed by in changing economic practices and whose response was a withdrawal from active engagement with an overtly and aggressively capitalist economic order.
              (Kim Ian Michasiw, "Nine Revisionist Theses on the Picturesque." Representations, 38 (Spring 1992), 76-100, p. 95).

the modern concept of landscape developed contemporaneously with the evolution from feudal to capitalist modes of land tenure. As the intimate tie between land and its users was severed with the development of capitalism, the idea of landscape arose. In other words, it became possible to distance oneself from the land so that it could be viewed as landscape.
              (Steven C. Bourassa, The Aesthetics of Landscape (1991), pp. 3-4)

Does the picturesque not represent the supreme aesthetic of human control? If it does, does it not also implicitly identify with the Englishman who could afford to look out and down on English life? . . . Social irresponsibility -- watching without engaging -- on the part of those who could afford Gilpin's tours or Repton's landscapes seems a central upshot of the habit of picturesque viewing.
              (Ian MacLaren, review article, English Studies in Canada, 14 (1988), p. 109)

[Enclosure] Precisely in the period of accelerated enclosure (roughly1750-1815), there fell the dramatic aesthetic and cultural discovery of the countryside on the part of the middle class. Throughout the period, nature, and the natural, as embodied par excellence by the countryside, became important aesthetic and cultural values.
              (Ann Bermingham, Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740-1860 (1986), p. 10)

Essentially, the picturesque could recognize the artistic richness of enclosure because it was itself visual enclosure. Where enclosure acts hedged the land, acts of picturesque vision framed it in an endlessly repeatable enclosure of pure picturicity. But where actual enclosure made the land rich by converting it usually into monotonous pasture . . . , 'enclosure' by Claude glass or sketchpad made it rich by converting it into the various and accidental.
              (Alan Liu, Wordsworth: The Sense of History (1989), p. 94)

The picturesque manner of viewing has been, from its inception, a practice culturally coded 'male' -- and so, for that matter, has the Continental tour and the whole process of acculturation it represents. . . . The picturesque retained the assumptions of gender given to it by its founders, who imagined a male art of seeing that could correct and complete what a feminized landscape held forth.
              (James Buzard, The Beaten Track: European Tourism, Literature, and the Ways to Culture, 1800-1918 (1993), p. 16)

there is no nature except as it is constituted by acts of political definition made possible by particular forms of government. When the governmental understructure changes, nature changes. Each time a nation suffers an invasion, civil war, major change of ministry, or some other crisis, national or international, it must revise its landscape, the image of its own nature.
              (Alan Liu, Wordsworth: The Sense of History (1989), p. 104)

Wordsworth is not interested in Nature.
              (Antony Easthope, Wordsworth Now and Then (1993), p. 1)

To the socially recognized hierarchy of the arts, and within each of them, of genres, schools, or periods, corresponds a social hierarchy of the consumers. This predisposes tastes to function as markers of 'class'.
              (Bourdieu, cited p. 79 in Kim Ian Michasiw, "Nine Revisionist Theses on the Picturesque." Representations, 38 (Spring 1992), 76-100)

Nostalgia seems inevitably linked with the Picturesque. In the relaxed drift of nostalgia one turns aside from the oncoming rush of present events. Images elicited by nostalgia were once part of that rush, but their impact has been deflected by time and memory. The plenitude on which the Picturesque relies exists in the accumulation of the past, both in the mind and on the ground. Nostalgia is power deferred.
              (Sidney K. Robinson, Inquiry into the Picturesque (1991), p. 101)

the picturesque traveller avoids dangerous psychological engagement in movement, process, and change, for he need not perceive or represent his destinations as they are, but may immediately reshape them to fit his already settled ideas of beauty. Exotic shapes or combinations pose no problem: the picturesque traveller calmly makes them familiar.
              (Anne D. Wallace, Walking, Literature, and English Culture (1993), p. 49)

[Price-Knight controversy] For Knight, Burke and Price placed too much emphasis on the role of 'sensual impressions' which seemed to result in a completely unstructured aesthetic experience wholly unsuited for aesthetic speculation. Such immediate and perishing material tended toward a radical empiricism that could not explain connections between sensory stimuli. Knight required some means to connect aesthetic responses and, at the same time, to take account of memory, imagination, and the passions.
              (Sidney K. Robinson, Inquiry into the Picturesque (1991), p. 19)

Knight's theory of associationism gave back to landscape painting something of the purpose denied it by Gilpin's and Price's naturalism and sensationism. For Knight, the purpose of landscape was to arouse the emotions, to stir the imagination, and to delight the eye with its naturalness.
              (Ann Bermingham, Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740-1860 (1986), p. 72)

Tourism stimulates travel, sometimes quite closely . . . . But it is different in crucial ways. It is not self-directed but externally directed. You go not where you want to go but where the industry has decreed you shall go. Tourism soothes you by comfort and familiarity and shields you from the shocks of novelty and oddity. It confirms your prior view of the world instead of shaking it up. Tourism requires that you see conventional things, and that you see them in a conventional way.
              (Paul Fussell, The Norton Book of Travel (1987), p. 651)

Low and rustic life was generally chosen because in that condition the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity . . . in that condition the passions of men are incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature. (Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 1800)

Wordsworth's advocacy of simple vernacular diction is predicated on his view that human passion incorporates the forms of nature. His metaphor of incorporation, or embodiment, is essentially ecological since it suggests that all language, and therefore all human consciousness, is affected by the 'forms of nature' that surround it. The natural world is a home (oikos), a birthplace and vital habitat for language, feeling, and thought."
              (James McKusick, "Coleridge and the Economy of Nature." Studies in Romanticism, 35 (1996), 375-390, p. 376)

[Wordsworth] is troubled by discrepancies in the sequence of his selves, and the most helpful response to such perplexity is to walk, remembering, through the immediacy of the world. To retrace the paths of childhood is to experience, for the walk's duration, the present and the past as one. The familiar landscape is the repository for early emotions which that terrain itself first called forth. To return to such hills is a renewal of childhood identity and a wedding with the earth.
              (John Elder, Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature (1985), p. 97)

[Habitat theory] aesthetic satisfaction, experienced in the contemplation of landscape, stems from the spontaneous perception of landscape features which, in their shapes, colours, spatial arrangements and other visible attributes, act as sign-stimuli indicative of environmental conditions favourable to survival, whether they really are favourable or not.
              (Jay Appleton, The Experience of Landscape (1975), p. 69)

[Prospect-refuge] at both human and sub-human level the ability to see and the ability to hide are both important in calculating a creature's survival prospects . . . . Where he has an unimpeded opportunity to see we can call it a prospect. Where he has an opportunity to hide, a refuge. . . . To this . . . aesthetic hypothesis we can apply the name prospect-refuge theory.
              (Jay Appleton, The Experience of Landscape (1975), p. 73)

[Prehistoric environments across at least 1.8 million years] Basing their arguments on the facts that most of human existence has been in a savanna or parklike biome and that it was evolutionarily adaptive for humans to prefer such a habitat, several researchers have suggested that some kind of innate preferences for such an environment may continue today.
              (Steven C. Bourassa, The Aesthetics of Landscape (1991), p. 69)

The romantics . . . made pleasure fundamental to human accomplishments because they believed that humankind belonged in, could and should be at home within, the world of natural processes. This is the foundation of what I shall call their proto-ecological views.
              (Karl Kroeber, Ecological Literary Criticism (1994), p. 5)

Since this book assumes that a critical vantage can and must be taken towards its subject, the ideology represented through Romantic works is a fortiori seen as a body of illusions. . . . . We may take it as a rule . . . that any criticism which abolishes the distance between its own (present) setting and its (removed) subject matter -- any criticism which argues an unhistorical symmetry between the practicing critic and the descending work -- will be, to that extent, undermined as criticism. In such cases criticism becomes important in the history of ideology rather than in the history of criticism. (p. 30)
              (Jerome J. McGann, The Romantic Ideology (1983), pp. 12, 30)

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Document created January 3rd 1999