This study is principally about travel and the travel experience, engaged those themes within the context of existing post-colonial and post-modern debates that critique the writings of Western travelers who journeyed in non-Western locales. The travel writers, or travel savants, as they are characterized in the work, rarely traveled alone but typically promoted a travel persona of the idealized solitary traveler derived from deeply engrained traditions in Western travel literature. Such solitary projections were mitigated by a narrative device that envisioned traveling companions in the form of an imaginary British readership. The sought to bring to their readers parts and elements of China not yet visited or profiled by Western writers. A critical component of the study engages travel encounters, namely the crowds, servants, official, transportations forms, inns, foods, dangers, and hardships of the road.Such encounters invoked fascination and wonder, but also engendered fear, aversion, and irritation - responses central to the norms of travel writing and the travel savant's identity that invariably colored the representational process, reinforcing existent stereotypes about China and the Chinese
Jeffrey N. Dupee is an Associate Professor of History at La Sierra University, Riverside, California. He received his BA in History from Walla Walla College and his PhD in European History from Claremont Graduate University. His disciplinary concentrations include Modern Europe and Modern China, 19th and 20th century Imperialism, with a research focus on British travel writers during Britain's second imperial age.
Preface; Introduction; Theoretical Reflections; 1. Envisioned Companions: Writing to an Imaginary British Readership; 2. European Settlements in China: Seeking and Evading Expatriate Cocoons; 3. Representing Difference: The Chinese through British Travelers' Eyes; 4. Chinese Encounters: Negotiating Difference on the Road through China; 5. Creature Comforts: Grumbling about Travel Accommodations; 6. Travel Misfortunes: Narratives of Danger, Frustration, and Excursions Gone Wrong; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index