• The Picturesque and the Beastly: Wales and the Absence of Welsh in the Journals of Lady’s Companions Eliza and Millicent Bant (1806, 1808)

    Author(s):
    Kathryn Walchester
    Editor(s):
    Rita Singer (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Group(s):
    Cultural Studies, English Literature, Global & Transnational Studies, Women also Know Literature
    Subject(s):
    Travel, Women travelers, Travel writing, Tourism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Women in 19th Century, Cultural tourism, History of tourism, travel writing, wales, Women travellers
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/4fke-4748
    Abstract:
    In spite of a burgeoning recognition of the Welsh language as part of a wider appreciation of Welsh culture at the beginning of the nineteenth century (see Constantine 2014: 124), Home Tour writing about Wales remained largely Anglocentric (Borm, quoted in Colbert 2012: 85). The journals written by lady’s companions, Eliza and Millicent Bant, in 1806 and 1808 respectively, present a complicated view, one in which multifarious and often negative versions of Wales compete, but overall where linguistic otherness is not evident. The lady’s companions’ various and often contradictory experiences of Wales focalise around a discourse of “otherness”, with the significant exception of its language. Welsh, and furthermore the sisters’ inability to understand it, is elided from the text. The Bant sisters’ lack of comprehension and their representation of its linguistic otherness is, I suggest, instead played out through a representation of Wales as complex, multifarious and impossible to comprehend. Wales is simultaneously “beastly” and “picturesque”, a place of industry and nature, beauty and squalor.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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