‘“Learning the Lakes: Harriet Martineau’s A Complete Guide to the English Lakes and Pedestrian Authority’

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Abstract

In 1845 Harriet Martineau experienced a rapid recovery from a debilitating but mysterious illness that had kept her house-bound for half a decade. She measured her increasing health by the miles she was able to walk, and rapidly found herself capable of considerable distances. Shortly after she moved to the Lake District. Here she set about consolidating her recovery and becoming acquainted with her new home by walking hundreds of miles across the whole area. These walks would be the basis for her guides to the Lakes, first a series of essays published in ‘A Year at Ambleside’ in 1850, then A Complete Guide to the English Lakes in 1855. This essay places Martineau's Lakeland guides in the broader context of nineteenth-century tourism, especially the picturesque guidebooks that recent scholarship has demonstrated both responded to and shaped the way visitors understood the area. Martineau's guides, unusual for being female-authored, offer, I argue, suggestive ways of further developing our understanding of the relationship between
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
JournalRomanticism
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date31 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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