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Title: Perspectives on the road : narratives of motoring in Britain
Author: Coulbert, E. A.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is a study of the travel writing inspired by automobile journeys in Britain in the period 1896 to 1930 and the new modes of subjectivity afforded by the motor car. In permitting greater access to the countryside away from railway stations, motorists were able to gain fresh perspectives on the landscape. Their journeys in the countryside invited them to ‘rediscover’ England and shape new versions of national identity based on a revival of pre-industrial pastoral idylls. This model of Englishness was directly influenced by car travel, particularly ideas of getting ‘off the beaten track’. A comparative study of the travelogues of American writers visiting Britain looks at their search for a shared heritage and the contrasting vision of England that they convey. The different experience of automotive travel and freedom to use the car as described by female writers in the period is also explored in two case studies. Many of the texts analysed in this work have never been discussed in scholarly studies and so this thesis aims to apply new material to the catalogue of home tour narratives, and to shed new light on the early years of automobile travel. This thesis also explores the car’s relationship to modernity in the narratives and concerns about the impact of motorised tourism on the landscape. By weaving together different theoretical concepts from travel writing, such as notions of the tourist and traveller, with historical studies of the car’s cultural impact in Britain, this work aims to establish the travelogues featured as a distinct sub-genre of travel writing studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available