After the invention of the marine aquarium, growing numbers of Victorian tourists chose to combine their vacation with seaside collecting, encouraged by numerous ‘aquarium manuals’ which explained how to build, stock and maintain the home tank, but also how to procure specimens on the shore. Although they do not perhaps represent the most obvious source for an exploration of Victorian tourism, aquarium books may offer valuable insights not only on what scientifically-oriented tourists did, but also on how they conceptualised their activity and felt about it. These texts in fact described – and often prescribed – ways of experiencing the seaside vacation. My essay explores the ways in which they defined the ideal tourist by placing him within a set of relations, both with other people and with nature itself: I discuss how authors co-opted the reader within the category of ‘good tourists’ in opposition to the ‘lazy’ ones, and then examine how the collector-tourist’s relation to locals was portrayed; in the second section, I consider how this ideal tourist was figured not only through his relations with people, but also with the environment, understood in terms of specific localities, marine fauna, and as a fascinating – albeit increasingly fragile – ecosystem.

“Let us hasten to the beach”: Victorian tourism and seaside collecting

GRANATA, SILVIA
2016

Abstract

After the invention of the marine aquarium, growing numbers of Victorian tourists chose to combine their vacation with seaside collecting, encouraged by numerous ‘aquarium manuals’ which explained how to build, stock and maintain the home tank, but also how to procure specimens on the shore. Although they do not perhaps represent the most obvious source for an exploration of Victorian tourism, aquarium books may offer valuable insights not only on what scientifically-oriented tourists did, but also on how they conceptualised their activity and felt about it. These texts in fact described – and often prescribed – ways of experiencing the seaside vacation. My essay explores the ways in which they defined the ideal tourist by placing him within a set of relations, both with other people and with nature itself: I discuss how authors co-opted the reader within the category of ‘good tourists’ in opposition to the ‘lazy’ ones, and then examine how the collector-tourist’s relation to locals was portrayed; in the second section, I consider how this ideal tourist was figured not only through his relations with people, but also with the environment, understood in terms of specific localities, marine fauna, and as a fascinating – albeit increasingly fragile – ecosystem.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1193413
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact