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BETWEEN DISTANCE AND SYMPATHY: DR JOHN MOORE'S PHILOSOPHICAL TRAVEL WRITING

  • JOHN BREWER (a1)
Abstract

Dr John Moore's four-volume account of his Grand Tour in the company of the Duke of Hamilton was one of the most successful European travel books of the late eighteenth century. Moore's text, I argue, is a philosophical travel narrative, an examination of manners, customs and characters, analogous to the philosophical histories of the Scottish Enlightenment. Intended as a critique of the superficial observations of much travel literature, it argues for a greater degree of closeness between the traveler and the native, one based on sympathetic conversation rather than observation, but accompanied by a more distanced analysis, based on conjectural history, of the hidden processes that explain manners and character. Difference should be understood through a combination of sympathy and analysis that makes travel and its accounting valuable.

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Arjun Appadurai , “Putting Hierarchy in its Place”, Cultural Anthropology, 3 (1988), 36–49, 39

Roberto Bizzocchi , “Cicisbei: Italian morality and European values in the Eighteenth Century”, in Paula Findlen , Wendy Wassyng Roworth and Catherine M. Sama , eds., Italy's Eighteenth Century: Gender and Culture in the Age of the Grand Tour (Stanford, 2009), 3558

Melissa Calaresu draws attention to this point in “From the Street to Stereotype: Urban Space, Travel and the Picturesque in late Eighteenth-Century Naples”, Italian Studies, 62 (2007), 189–203, 199200

Evan Radcliffe , “Revolutionary Writing, Moral Philosophy, and Universal Benevolence in the Eighteenth Century”, Journal of the History of Ideas, 54, 2 (April 1993), 221–40

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Modern Intellectual History
  • ISSN: 1479-2443
  • EISSN: 1479-2451
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-intellectual-history
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