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The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination$
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Carl Thompson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259984.001.0001

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Explorers: Rhetorics of Science and Sacrifice

Explorers: Rhetorics of Science and Sacrifice

Chapter:
(p.146) 4 Explorers: Rhetorics of Science and Sacrifice
Source:
The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination
Author(s):

Carl Thompson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259984.003.0005

This chapter considers another type of traveller and of travel writing that often inspired the Romantic espousal of misadventure in the act of travel. The late 18th century witnessed the emergence of the explorer, in the modern sense of this term, and saw exploration narratives achieving astonishing popularity amongst the reading public. The chapter begins by surveying these developments, then moves on to consider in more detail two explorers especially famous for their sufferings, James Bruce and Mungo Park. Finally, the chapter considers the complex, ambiguous resonance of Bruce and Park for the Romantic imagination, whilst also speculating on the extent to which Romanticism's veneration specifically of the suffering explorer introduced a cult of martyrdom into the British exploratory tradition.

Keywords:   travel, travel writing, misadventure, exploration, Mungo Park, James Bruce, Romantic, Romanticism

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