Beyond the observation of the 'traveller' : the other and the self in the writings of Anglo-Sicilian women (1848-1910)
This thesis aims to examine the little-known works by three Anglo-Sicilian women, written at the end of the nineteenth and at the beginning of the twentieth century, as expatriate writing. In particular, this study explores the various mechanisms and strategies at play in the representation of the Other and the Self in these texts, in the light of the events preceding and following Italian Unification. I intend to verify how these texts respond to being analysed as a distinct group, and what are the specific roles and functions of expatriate women's works. I consider these three works through an interdisciplinary, comparative approach. This thesis consists of an introduction, three case studies - structured in terms of generic subdivisions - and a conclusion. The Introduction draws the historical, social and cultural context shared by the three case studies. It looks at women's expatriate writing as a genre, as well as a few women's travel texts about Sicily. Chapter one explores Letters from Sicily: Containing Some Account of the Political Events in that Island during the Spring of 1849 (London, 1850) by Mary Charlton Pasqualino. Within the context of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century epistolary writing, this work is read as a text marking the author's transition from a condition as traveller to that as expatriate. Chapter two is devoted to an analysis of Sicilian Ways and Days, by Louise Hamilton Caico (London, 1910). It looks at strategies used by the author to exert her authority as participant-observer in her ethnographic work. This section also analyses Hamilton Caico's photographs of inland Sicily within a selection of iconographic representations of Southern Italy produced by female travellers. Chapter three examines the relationship between history and memory, personal and public account through a close reading of Sicily and England: Political and Social Reminiscences, 1848-1870 (London, 1907) by Tina Scalia Whitaker. It examines the author's search for an Anglo-Italian identity, as well as the issue of the 'authenticity' of Scalia's historical narrative and self-representation. The conclusions briefly look at today's reception of the translation into Italian of the works by Hamilton Caico and Scalia Whitaker. This section also suggests further research on women's expatriate writing about Italy.