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Hidden Texts, Hidden Nation(Re)Discoveries of Wales in Travel Writing in French and German (1780-2018)$
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Kathryn N Jones, Carol Tully, and Heather Williams

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621433

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621433.001.0001

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Periphery, Modernity and the Discovery of Wales in Travel Writing in German from 1790 to 1850

Periphery, Modernity and the Discovery of Wales in Travel Writing in German from 1790 to 1850

(p.113) Chapter Three Periphery, Modernity and the Discovery of Wales in Travel Writing in German from 1790 to 1850
Hidden Texts, Hidden Nation

Kathryn N. Jones

Carol Tully

Heather Williams

Liverpool University Press

This was a period of discovery, with many German-speaking travellers exploring the notion of Wales from a position of ignorance. Consequently, Wales is framed as a peripheral ‘other’ throughout, but nevertheless gradually establishes a presence in the German understanding of the British Isles. This is underpinned by a deeply conflicted reading. Some writers focus on an exoticized, Romanticized Wales which is also seen to be colonized and threatened by its dominant neighbour. Other works highlight the impact, but also the desirability of encroaching modernity in the shape of industry and tourism. Most of these travellers are drawn by sublime landscapes and ancient ruins, as well as developments in mining and infrastructure. Writers adopt different prisms through which to observe Wales but as time goes on, these begin to merge as the beginnings of a recognisable tourist trail develop. Central throughout, however, is an ongoing critique of the English domination of Wales, often described explicitly in colonial terms. This serves to undermine the image of England (as a cipher for Great Britain) as a paradigmatic locus of progressive ideals for the German-speaking lands in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and on the brink of industrial revolution.

Keywords:   Industrial History, Other, Celtic, German Romanticism, Colonialism, Tourism

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