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The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing by…
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The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing

by Peter Hulme, Tim Youngs (Editor)

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The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing is a series of 15 academically-oriented essays by 15 authors divided into 3 Parts. Part I "Surveys" contains 5 essays that provide a general survey of the literature from 1500 to the present. I found these to be the most interesting as it provides historical context and the most important works to know about. Part II "Sites" contains 7 essays that are surveys also, but for specific regions: Arabia, Amazon, Tahiti, Congo, Scotland/Ireland, Calcutta, California. These are more detailed and focused, my only complaint is there were not more surveys for other regions. Finally Part III "Topics" contains 3 essays covering more theoretical and academic subjects: essays on gender, ethnography and theory. I found these the least interesting as they are for those with a more specialized background (ie. literary theory, gender studies, etc.). In addition there is a lengthy Introduction providing an overview of the book. Each essay contains footnotes and a bibliography. There is a chronological list of the works selected by the authors as the most significant at the end of the book which is a great resource.

As each essay is written by someone different I found some better than others (as followed my interest level in certain places and periods). The essays are not entirely stand-alone there is some cross referencing between them which forms a whole work. The first five surveys mainly focus on English authors only, and there is little discussed about non-traditional narratives (slave narratives, etc..) such as can be found in the recent Oxford Anthology (2005). As a literary history of travel writing this is a wonderful reference and I recommend it highly, both for the professional scholar (I am not) and the interested fan of travel literature who wants to find the most important works and place them into historical context. ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Aug 15, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hulme, PeterEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Youngs, TimEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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edited by Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521786525, Paperback)

The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing is a broad, specially commissioned introduction to travel writing in English between 1500 and the present. Five essays survey the period's travel writing; six more focus on areas of particular interest--Arabia, the Amazon, Ireland, Calcutta, the Congo and California, while the final three analyze some of the theoretical and cultural dimensions of this enigmatic, influential genre of writing. An extensive further reading list plus a detailed chronology are included.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:27 -0400)

Traces the history of travel writing from the sixteenth century to the present, looks at areas around the world historically conducive to writing, and examines travel writing in conjunction with gender, ethnography, and theory.

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