Questions of Authority: Italian and Australian Travel Narratives of the Long Nineteenth Century

1st Edition

Laura Olcelli

Routledge
Published October 26, 2017
Reference - 226 Pages
ISBN 9781138562486 - CAT# Y381418
Series: Routledge Studies in Nineteenth Century Literature

USD$145.00

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Summary

Questions of Authority investigates Italian–Australian literary travel exchanges throughout the long nineteenth century. The 1800s witnessed major transformations in Australian overseas travel: it gradually evolved from a replica of the Continental Grand Tour of the British, to a more idiosyncratic cosmopolitan experience, either touristic or professional. Moreover, it was during the second half of this century that both Italy and Australia underwent crucial political upheavals; these resulted in shifts from colonial and subjugated status, to self-government and ultimately independence. This volume connects these geographical, political and sociocultural contexts of Italy and Australia by considering their interlaced odeporic library, produced at a significant time in history. Additionally, this book analyses key texts compiled by Italians in Australia, and Australians in Italy: these chiefly consist of voyage accounts, but also include the records of explorers, missionaries, scientists and migrants coming from the Italian peninsula. These primary sources include unpublished travel diaries compiled by the first Victorian women visitors to the Bel Paese, which have been largely neglected by scholarship thus far.

This examination pinpoints the enduring significance of Italy in travel-related terms, showing how this destination was adapted from the map of eighteenth-century British Grand Tourists, to that of nineteenth-century Australian holiday makers. Most critically, Questions of Authority argues Italian–Australian peripatetic connections entail issues of authority, that emerge in the ways in which Italian and Australian travel writers displayed their authorship, cultural capital and national identification in relation to the other country. Finally, it demonstrates how these are highly regulated by, and yet simultaneously challenge, British colonial hegemony.

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