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Title: Travel in the Alps : the construction of a transnational space through digital and mental mapping (c. 1750s-1850s)
Author: Girardin, Jordan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 2030
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2017
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The period between the 1750s and 1830s witnessed a major change in travel practices in Europe, moving away from the traditional Grand Tour and focusing more on natural places, their visual power, and their influence on individual emotions. Such changes meant that the Alps ceased to be seen as a natural obstacle that had to be crossed in order to access Italy, and became a place to explore and a mountainous space par excellence. This thesis addresses the importance of mental mapping in travel literature and its impact on the construction of the Alps as a transnational space, which eventually facilitated the creation of a viable touristic market in the Alps as we know it today. The first part of the thesis analyses the transformation of the Alps from a natural frontier to a border region explored by travellers and their networks. The second part discusses the consequences of these changes on mental mapping and spatial representations of the Alps by travellers: it highlights the way external visitors often had very subjective interpretations of what the Alps meant as a term and a place, and conveyed those to other travellers through travel writing. Finally, the third part of this work investigates the development of an Alpine myth as a product of these shifting mental representations: the Alps became a set of expectations, typical images, and encounters to be expected.
Supervisor: Struck, Bernhard Sponsor: University of St Andrews ; Fritz-Thyssen Stiftung
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Transnational history ; Space ; Alps ; Mountains ; Border regions ; Travel ; Tourism ; DB108.G5 ; Alps Region--Description and travel--18th century ; Alps Region--Description and travel--19th century ; Mountain tourism--Alps Region