Trailblazers: Women Travel Writers and the Exchange of Knowledge
Posted 12 Sep 2022
The exciting exhibition, Trailblazers: Women Travel Writers and the Exchange of Knowledge, opens today at Chawton House, Hampshire, and runs to 26 February 2023. Bringing together Chawton House’s collection of works by women writers, with loans from archives and museums across the country, Trailblazers offers a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating stories of the women who travelled the world in the 18th and 19th centuries.
We especially welcome exhibition visitors to this Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840 database, which has been a key resource for the Chawton organisers and will be linked to the exhibit via the exhibit's interactive map, showing the global routes of selected women travellers on a specially commissioned map. We look forward, too, to further collaboration with Chawton House as we explore the routes of the women w… read more
Summary Report for Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840
Posted 9 May 2018
The British Academy funded project, 'Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship', is now completed, although work on the database continues. Below is a summary report of the research and its findings:
The research was carried out largely according to plan and on schedule. In consultation with the Principal Investigator, Benjamin Colbert, the database web designer developed a refreshed home page with a drop-down navigation bar. An augmented search page now allows users to search specific roles, such as editor or translator, and new categories of 'gender' and 'original language' have prepared the way for the addition translations by women. A new browse page gives added visibility to writers, illustrators, publishers, and printers, and the News & Events page keeps users abreast of project developments and allows posts to be shared on social media. Tagging gives greater visibility on search engines such as Google. An Updates feature embeds the history of entry changes, p… read more
New Light on Lord Byron’s ‘Furniture’ in Don Juan, Canto 3
Posted 3 Feb 2018
In a letter to his publisher John Murray on 23 August 1821, Lord Byron owned up to various borrowings in his poems, including Don Juan: ‘By the way much of the description of the furniture in Canto 3d is taken from Tully’s Tripoli’ (L&J 8:186). As Peter Cochrane has demonstrated, the Narrative of a Ten Years’ Residence at Tripoli (1816) was the source in fact ‘for virtually all of the furniture in Canto III, much of the food and drink, the greater part of the costume, plus several other useful details’ (77).
Cochrane also reminds his readers that Tully’s Tripoli was written not by the British Consul, Richard Tully, but by his sister-in-law ‘whose name has not come down to us’ (77). Subsequent scholars and many library catalogues have since referred to the author simply as ‘Miss Tully’, but with no further information on her relationship to Richard Tully. Richard Tully, too, has until now remained a shadowy figure.
My pursuit … read more
Arrivals and Departures
Posted 28 Sep 2017
Research in the John Murray Archive and Special Collections at the National Library of Scotland has resulted in a departure from the database and some new arrivals. Gone is the entry for the Journal of a Short Excursion among the Swiss Landscapes, attributed to Anne Blund and supposedly published by Murray in 1803 (see OCLC 79964602).
This attribution was already shaky on the basis of a curious article appearing in the November 1816 issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine in which the author (signed ‘L.S.’) purports to be giving a draft preface to an unfinished series of articles published in that journal from July to December of 1815 under the title ‘General Outline of the Swiss Landscape’, all of which are generally attributed to Rowley Lascelles. In a note to the 1816 ‘preface’, Lascelles indicates that the ur-text behind this latest incarnation was none other than the Journal of a Short Excursion.
The National Library of Scotland copy of the Dublin edition of this rare volum… read more
Posted 8 May 2017
Two recent publications by Benjamin Colbert showcase the Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840 database under development in the Communities of Authorship project:
'British Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840: Bibliographical Reflections', Women's Writing 24.2 (May 2017): 151-169.
Abstract: Launched online in 2014, the Women's Travel Writing database provides full and accurate bibliographical records for all the known books of travel published in Britain and Ireland by women between 1780 and 1840. This article critically and statistically reflects on these 204 titles, the authors who wrote them, and the patterns and trends that they suggest when considered together during the period in which women first gained a firm foothold in a genre traditionally considered men's territory. The database reveals patterns of women writing on the generic borders between scribal and print culture, conforming to and manipulating rhetorical conventions in prefaces and advertisements, while str… read more
Communities of Authorship Update: The Marchioness Solari and the Royal Literary Fund
Posted 29 Oct 2016
This post is the second of a series of profiles in which Dr Benjamin Colbert will feature a travel writer and her work from Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840, as well as an update on the research underway for the British Academy project, Women's Travel Writing: Communities of Authorship.
No. 2: Catherine Hyde (or Hyams), Marchioness Govion Broglio Solari, c. 1755-1844.
From the 39 items making up the Royal Literary Fund’s record (Loan RLF 1/435) of its dealings with the travel writer and memoirist Catherine Hyde, Marchioness Govion Broglio Solari (c1755-1844), there emerges a portrait of the artist that is consistent with self-representations in her published works, yet also details her day-to-day struggle for solvency over the twenty-one-year period covered by the archive (1821-1842). Her first letter to the RLF of 18 May 1821 is dated from the ‘king’s bench prison’ where she had been confined four months unable to pa… read more
Women's Travel Writing 2.0 - What's New?
Posted 25 Jul 2016
Users returning to this database after a few weeks away will find a number of new features thanks to our database designer, Chris Veness of Moveable Type Ltd., whose work is part of the current and on-going British Academy funded project, Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship.
First off is a refreshed home page under a familiar but shorter title, Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840. The most significant new feature here is a drop-down navigation bar (available on every page) which allows users to move between the Home page, Search page, Browse page, News & Events, and About page.
The Search page now has been augmented to allow searches to be limited or combined in different ways. We've added an author-role feature to allow users to search for specific roles, such as editor or translator, or for role combinations. We've also added a place of publication drop down menu (Published in ...), as well as the new categories of 'gender' and 'original language'. I… read more
Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship
Posted 5 May 2016
We are pleased to announce the commencement of a British Academy funded research project, Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship. Led by Dr Benjamin Colbert in collaboration with database designer Chris Veness of Moveable Type Ltd., the project aims to restore visibility to 139 women who published travel books as authors, co-authors, contributors, letterpress writers, editors, and translators during a period in which women’s travel writing became established in Britain and Ireland. Original biographical research on these authors will contribute to our knowledge of the conditions of publishing, networking, and support that helped women become transformative presences in a male-dominated genre.
The research builds upon and augments the Database of Women’s Travel Writing, launched at Chawton House Library in July 2014, which aims to provide ac… read more
Database of Women’s Travel Writing: Marianne Colston
Posted 16 Feb 2015
This post is the first of a series of profiles in which Dr Benjamin Colbert will feature an author and her work from the Database of Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840:
No. 1: Marianne Jenkins Colston (1792-1865)
In 1822, the Paris-based English language publisher A. and W. Galignani brought out in two volumes octavo the Journal of a Tour in France, Switzerland, and Italy, during the Years 1819, 20, and 21 [see BTW1040] by Marianne Colston. A further folio volume comprising 50 lithographs by François Le Villain (fl. 1820-1830) after drawings by Colston accompanied it. The following year, 1823, the two volumes and the pictorial atlas were again published in London by G. and W. B. Whittaker. The firm of Galignani was notorious for bring… read more