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Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century$
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Caroline Archer-Parré and Malcolm Dick

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622300

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622300.001.0001

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Tourist Experience and the Manufacturing Town

Tourist Experience and the Manufacturing Town

James Bisset’s Magnificent Directory of Birmingham

(p.169) 11 Tourist Experience and the Manufacturing Town
Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century

Jenni Dixon

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the Magnificent Directory produced by James Bisset in 1800 in relation to industrial tourism in Birmingham. Directories were used throughout the eighteenth century to promote manufacturers, but Bisset’s Directory differed in its inclusion of poetry and expensive copperplate prints outlining Birmingham’s genuine manufactories but also an imagined town. This town was inhabited and viewed through the eyes of Classical gods both in the prints and the poetry. The chapter considers how Bisset’s Directory guided tourist experience by framing the town through a lens of wonder and thus highlighting and heightening the curiosity of visitors. It also assesses in what ways the poetic and visual content, as well as Bisset’s use of fine printing and skilled artisans, were employed to alter perceptions of Birmingham.

Keywords:   James Bisset, Birmingham, Directories, Industrial, Tourism, Curiosity

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