Beyond the Grand Tour: Northern Metropolises and Early Modern Travel Behaviour

Rosemary Sweet (Editor), Gerrit Verhoeven (Editor), Sarah Goldsmith (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Travel in early modern Europe is frequently represented as synonymous with the institution of the Grand Tour, a journey undertaken by elite young males from northern Europe to the centres of the arts and antiquity in Italy. Taking a somewhat different perspective, this volume builds upon recent research that pushes beyond this narrow orthodoxy and which decentres Italy as the ultimate destination of European travellers. Instead, it explores a much broader pattern of travel, undertaken by people of varied backgrounds and with divergent motives for travelling. By tapping into current reactions against the reification of the Grand Tour as a unique and distinctive practice, this volume represents an important contribution to the ongoing process of resituating the Grand Tour as part of a wider context of travel and topographical writing. Focusing upon practices of travel in northern and western Europe rather than in Italy, particularly in Britain, the Low Countries and Germany, the essays in this collection highlight how itineraries continually evolved in response to changing political, economic and intellectual contexts. In so doing, the reasons for travel in northern Europe are subjected to a similar level of detailed analysis as has previously only been directed on Italy. By doing this, the volume demonstrates the variety of travel experiences, including the many shorter journeys made for pleasure, health, education and business undertaken by travellers of varying age and background across the period. In this way the volume brings to the fore the experiences of varied categories of traveller – from children to businessmen – which have traditionally been largely invisible in the historiography of travel.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages228
ISBN (Electronic)9781315569277
ISBN (Print)9781472485809, 9780367344566
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2017


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