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The gentleman's north: Lord Dufferin and the beginnings of Arctic tourism
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4960-3251
2009 (English)In: Studies in Travel Writing, ISSN 1364-5145, Vol. 13, no 1, 61-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In his 1857 travelogue Letters from High Latitudes, Lord Dufferin positions himself as the first real tourist in the region of Iceland and Spitsbergen. The representation of these sites as tourist destinations involves a female gendering of place in comparison with the masculine image of the Arctic conveyed in, for instance, exploration narratives. The narrative is more an instance of self-writing than a report of observations, a privatising, subjective mode which again signals a move away from the pseudo-objective, masculine genres of scientific writing. Dufferin’s aristocratic outlook is an important aspect of the self-presentation, emphasising the writer’s refinement and good breeding. Nevertheless, one of Dufferin’s central concerns is to convey the romance of the Arctic which builds on the image of man pitted against the forces of harsh and dangerous nature. The text can consequently be viewed as a site where conflicting gendered narrative traditions fuse or collide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 13, no 1, 61-73 p.
Keyword [en]
Earl of Dufferin, Iceland, Spitsbergen, nineteenth-century travel writing, North, feminisation, gentrification
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19655OAI: diva2:202262
Available from: 2009-10-14 Created: 2009-03-09 Last updated: 2016-05-10Bibliographically approved

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