2. Travel Writing in the Victorian Era

Murray's Handbook (1871)

A travel guide from 1871

Following Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837, travel across Britain and Europe intensified owing to massive improvements in and the expansion of railway and steamship routes, making accessible previously isolated countries. The improvement of transportation allowed tourism to flourish on such a scale that it grew into a commercial venture firmly rooted within colonial enterprises.[1] The popularity and cheapness of travel led tourists to schedule itineraries and leisure ahead of time, leading to the birth of the travel agency in 1845.[2] Bourgeois middle classes relied on transportation to pursue recreational activities, while the transportation business depended on the bourgeoisie to facilitate further development of lines and roads; by purchasing tickets and booking extended tours, tourists turned into casual financiers of travel infrastructures and touring businesses.[3] Tourism, as an industry, was officially underway.

 Barbara Korte, English Travel Writing: From Pilgrimages to Postcolonial Explorations (New York: Palgrave, 2000), 85.[2] Korte, English Travel Writing, 85.
[3] Korte, English Travel Writing, 187.