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In this original study, Ian Ousby investigates the landmarks chosen by the English for their leisure travel over centuries. He looks in particular at four types of attraction still prominent on the tourist map of England: literary shrines, country houses, picturesque ruins and the natural landscape. All of these first became objects of fashionable attention during the 18th century, when improvements in transport combined with a spirit of practical inquiry to breed the first generation of travellers who called themselves "tourists". Drawing on a wide range of sources - journals, travel books and guidebooks, novels and poems, as well as many engravings - Ian Ousby traces the canons of taste which led the early tourists to seek out places like Stratford-upon-Avon, Chatsworth, Tintern Abbey and the Lake District, and records the stages by which these places acquired the trappings of the tourist attraction. Above all, he shows the development not just of an industry but of a state of mind marked, from its earliest phase, by the underlying fear that tourism is fated to spoil or even destroy the very thing it most admires.
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"A pioneer work of what we must call "tourist history" written, moreover, with elegance and style." - John Julius NorwichBook Description:
This fascinating and original study shows that the English tourist industry is not a peculiarly modern creation. Ian Ousby identifies the four types of tourist attraction - literary shrines, country houses, picturesque ruins, and the natural landscape and the tastes that made them objects of fashionable attention in the eighteenth-century.
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