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By Pieter François

ISBN-10: 8884927226

ISBN-13: 9788884927224

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Extra info for ‘A Little Britain on the Continent’: British Perceptions of Belgium, 1830-1870

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The descriptions in the guides of Murray, Cook and Baedeker were top of the range and, therefore, hard to rival. With the arrival of this new generation of travel guides, the travel accounts shifted increasingly their focus to how the travels were experienced. This objective is more difficult, easier to criticise, but, in a way, also more interesting. Understanding the impact of this new type of travel guides is, therefore, an important step in understanding the many changes of the mid-nineteenth-century travel account, and its value as a source for the study of intercultural imagery.

The last two or three days the travellers stayed in Brussels. A visit to the battlefield of Waterloo was essential during this stay in Brussels48. Occasionally Malines, Courtrai, Spa, or Liège were included in these tours. In each of these places the travellers stayed on average only a couple of hours. After this tour of more or less a week, approximately half of the travellers returned to Britain. The other half travelled further to the Rhine, Switzerland, or Paris for one more week. During these standardized tours most time was spent visiting the main churches, central squares, town halls, and the old medieval parts of the visited cities.

Finally, it is necessary to analyse what kind of information is missing from the travel literature. On what topics do travel accounts and guides remain silent? These silences can only be fully discovered by consulting a range of different sources, as these silences are often genre specific. These silences always reveal some limitations 38 Pieter François of the genre on the one hand and hint to a specific home-context, expectations, and conventions on the other. For example, love, romance, or sex, are not mentioned as a motive to travel, these topics as such were not even mentioned in most of the analysed accounts.

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‘A Little Britain on the Continent’: British Perceptions of Belgium, 1830-1870 by Pieter François

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