Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Giovanna Benadusi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elisabeth Fraser, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anne Koenig, Ph.D.


travel literature, gender, national identity, eighteenth century, the body


The Grand Tour is known to scholars as a significant period of travel in which members of English society could immerse themselves in the foreign, while also adhering to established social customs. Scholarship previously regarded the Grand Tour as an intellectual journey for aristocratic Englishmen; however, an incorporation of women into this narrative has introduced many new and important themes that merit further study. Women’s increasing participation in the Grand Tour, which gained in popularity in the eighteenth century, reveals many unique aspects of British society in the period. The integration of women into the Tour is also an indication of increased mobility for an emerging class of Britons who sought amusement and distinction abroad. Cultural identity played an active role in not only shaping the traveler’s experience but also in dictating how travelers represented themselves on their journey. Traveler’s served as cultural intermediaries that represented their country while abroad and transported aspects of the foreign societies they encountered home with them. While cultural identity certainly shaped perceptions of travelers, this work endeavors to bring into focus additional points of analysis and emphasize emerging areas of study. The appropriation of foreign objects and the significance of their integration into domestic life and social practices, the pursuit of amusement and that pursuit’s influence on the Tour experience, and the essential role played by the body as another category of experience in travel are all areas of interest and focus in this additional interpretation of the Grand Tour.