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William Wordsworth and Modern TravelRailways, Motorcars and the Lake District, 1830-1940$
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Saeko Yoshikawa

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621181

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621181.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Romantic Motorists, Romantic Cyclists

Romantic Motorists, Romantic Cyclists

(p.119) Chapter Four Romantic Motorists, Romantic Cyclists
William Wordsworth and Modern Travel

Saeko Yoshikawa

Liverpool University Press

Chapter 4 investigates how and why the motorcar attracted George Dixon Abraham, James John Hissey and other early motorists, and explores how they adopted and adapted the poetics and aesthetics of Romantic writers, including Wordsworth and Shelley, in describing their new mobilised perceptions and bodily sensations as they hurried through changing weather and scenery, attempting inaccessible mountain passes and dizzying descents. As motor cars gradually replaced horse-drawn vehicles, and the speed of travel increased in the pre-War period, the pursuits of a more leisurely literary tourism gradually declined. At the same time, motorists were finding their own ways of enjoying the country roads, free movement and self-reliance, which was impossible for railway passengers. Likewise, intrepid bicyclists, such as Fitzwater Wray, relished their mobility and self-dependence as they toured in the Lake District in the early twentieth century. The chapter reveals how the Romantic ethos of oneness with nature, freedom of wayfaring and personal independence were revitalized in early motorists’ and cyclists’ poetics of the road.

Keywords:   George Dixon Abraham, James John Hissey, speed, mobility, independence, poetics of the road, Fitzwater Wray, freedom of wayfaring, Romantic ethos

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