Travel Literature

This paper compares “Eothen” by A.W. Kinglake and “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe.

A look at 18th century travel literature and its tendencies. This paper explores the argument that the narrative of travel allows the writer to imagine and disseminate images of the self. The paper shows that these writers, through the discourse of the travel narrative, portray idealised images of the ?self? in the construction of the central character and that this is based on social ideals of the time. It also looks briefly at the idea that also important to the representation of ?self? is the representation of the home culture.
“”Although Englishmen had been describing their voyages and journeys for many years, the eighteenth century “witnessed a new era in which non-fiction travel literature achieved an unparalleled popularity.? The travel literature of the eighteenth century was grounded on the act of journeying and the narrative format of the everyday Englishman stranded in a foreign land. It was felt that a man’s surroundings were what shaped his character. At the time trade was being expanded and more territory was being opened up abroad, influencing the travel narrative in terms of the themes it dealt with.”