The extracts often focus on the labile moods that contribute to the 'triste plaisir' of travelling (as Madame de StaÃ«l termed it): moods such as restlessness, anxiety, exhaustion, animal exuberance, sexual excitement and piqued curiosity.
The introduction considers some of these responses in relation to the preoccupations and rhetorical strategies of travel writing during the Romantic period and introductory commentaries examine the ways in which the passages take up a series of themes, around which the five chapters are ordered: 'Pleasure', 'Rising and sinking in sublime places', 'Danger and destabilization', 'Art, unease and life', and 'Gastronomy, gusto and the geography of the haunted'.
About: Chloe Chard assembles fascinating passages from late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century accounts of travel in Italy, by Northern Europeans, writing in English (or, in some cases, translated into English at the time); it includes writings by Charles Dupaty, Maria Graham, Anna Jameson, Sydney Morgan, Henry Matthews and Hester Lynch Piozzi.
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