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Title: A master whose heart is in the land : picturing the tourist utopia of the Great Western Railway, 1897-1947
Author: Thompson, Josef Evan Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 923X
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the images of landscapes and locations used by the Great Western Railway Company (GWR) in their advertising and publicity material from 1897 to 1947. It argues that the GWR made sophisticated use of such images and used landscape imagery as a way, not only to appeal to a wide and varied audience of tourists and potential travellers, but also to construct a deep historical context for the company; this historical context reinforced the company's authority and echoed their paternalistic management practices at the time. The research challenges the idea that the 'motoring pastoral' of the inter-war period and beyond was a unique phenomenon by demonstrating that the GWR' landscape imagery can be viewed as a 'railway pastoral'. Such a notion pre-dates the widespread introduction of the motor-car and influenced the imagery associated with motoring that was to become so popular from the 1920s on. It argues that the motoring pastoral owes a significant debt to the railway's picturing of landscapes that came before it. The thesis puts forward the concept of the 'tourist utopia' whereby landscapes and locations were portrayed in a highly idealised manner thus highlighting the difference between the experiences on offer to the tourist and the everyday world of work. The tourist utopia of the GWR was characterised by a marked heterogeneity insofar as several differing portrayals of landscapes such as rural, historical or technological, could co-exist within the same geographical location. Such heterogeneity, it is argued, reflects the marketing practice of market segmentation and demonstrates that the marketing of mobility in Great Britain was well developed in the years prior to 1914 and continued to develop during the inter-war period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available