Zoë Kinsley1
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  • 1 Liverpool Hope University
Narrating Travel, Narrating the Self: Considering Women‘s Travel Writing as Life Writing
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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This article considers the ways in which eighteenth-century womens travel narratives function as autobiographical texts, examining the process by which a travellers dislocation from home can enable exploration of the self through the observation and description of place. It also, however, highlights the complexity of the relationship between two forms of writing which a contemporary readership viewed as in many ways distinctly different. The travel accounts considered, composed (at least initially) in manuscript form, in many ways contest the assumption that manuscript travelogues will somehow be more self-revelatory than printed accounts. Focusing upon the travel writing of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Katherine Plymley, Caroline Lybbe Powys and Dorothy Richardson, the article argues for a more historically nuanced approach to the reading of womens travel writing and demonstrates that the narration of travel does not always equate to a desired or successful narration of the self.

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