'[A] curious picture, and of varied detail' : interpreting Amelia Edwards's Manuscript Travel Journal (1857-1872)

Butler, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8629-0234, 2019. '[A] curious picture, and of varied detail' : interpreting Amelia Edwards's Manuscript Travel Journal (1857-1872). Fictions: Studi sulla narratività, XVIII, pp. 61-72. ISSN 1721-3673

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Amelia Blanford Edwards (1831-92) has begun to receive scholarly recognition in recent years as a popular Victorian travel writer. However, most critical discussion has focused on her published writings, leaving a wealth of archival material largely untapped. This article draws attention to Edwards’s unpublished travel journal, the MS 515 in Somerville College Oxford, which marks her first major attempt at writing in the travel genre, documenting her gradual transition from novelist to travel writer over a fifteen-year period. The physical appearance of the travel journal as a singular, closed book belies gaps in its chronology, disparities in its content, and the complex stemmatics of individual journal entries. Combining textual analysis with a consideration of the materiality of the text and its provenance, as well as a dereading that attends to omissions and ellipses, I probe the politics of reconstructing the journey in manuscript form. Problematizing any easy distinction between ‘private’ and ‘published’ documents, I highlight the travel journal as a heterogeneous and open-ended form, one which raises unique challenges for critical and textual scholarship in travel writing.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Fictions: Studi sulla narratività, 18 (2019), 61-72
Publication Title: Fictions: Studi sulla narratività
Creators: Butler, R.
Publisher: Fabrizio Serra editore
Date: 4 November 2019
Volume: XVIII
ISSN: 1721-3673
Rights: Copyright 2019 by Fabrizio Serra editore, Pisa; Roma.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Mar 2020 10:49
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 12:58
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39455

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