Voyage en orient/ voyage en soi: French Romantic travel in the Levant, 1800–1869
Hickok, Carlton Wight
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This dissertation studies the French Romantic writers who pioneered travel to the Levant in the early nineteenth century in order to understand the motivations that drove them and the methods by which they were able to travel in an era before organized tourism. The study argues that the voyages of Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Nerval, Flaubert, and others functioned as a response to the spiritual, cultural, and political crises of the post-Revolutionary era in France and how these concerns shaped their writing about the region. Additionally, the study details and analyzes the existing networks of ambassadors, consuls, missionaries, and businessmen who facilitated their travel and maintained a Franco-Ottoman status quo in a time of shifting alliances and a wave of French tourists who followed behind the literary pioneers. This reveals the psychological and spiritual connections between the practices of pilgrimage and tourism in European modernity.