Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Voyages and Visions

Towards a Cultural History of Travel

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Voyages and Visions

Towards a Cultural History of Travel

A much-needed contribution to the expanding interest in the history of travel and travel writing, Voyages and Visions is the first attempt to sketch a cultural history of travel from the sixteenth century to the present day. The essays address the theme of travel as a historical, literary and imaginative process, focusing on significant episodes and encounters in world history.

The contributors to this collection include historians of art and of science, anthropologists, literary critics and mainstream cultural historians. Their essays encompass a challenging range of subjects, including the explorations of South America, India and Mexico; mountaineering in the Himalayas; space travel; science fiction; and American post-war travel fiction. Voyages and Visions is truly interdisciplinary, and essential reading for anyone interested in travel writing.

With essays by Kasia Boddy, Michael Bravo, Peter Burke, Melissa Calaresu, Jesus Maria Carillo Castillo, Peter Hansen, Edward James, Nigel Leask, Joan-Pau Rubies and Wes Williams.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

254 pages | 6 x 9

Critical Views

Travel and Tourism: Tourism and History

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books


"A fascinating and wide-ranging volume."


"Provides insight into why history’s travellers have responded in such different ways to new people and cultures."

The Good Book Guide

Table of Contents

Notes on the Editors and Contributors
Introduction - Jas Elsner and Joan-Pau Rubiés
1. From Mt Ventoux to Mt Masaya: The Rise and Fall of Subjectivity in Early Modern Travel Narrative - Jesús Carrillo
2. Futility in the New World: Narratives of Travel in Sixteenth-Century America - Joan-Pau Rubiés
3. ’Rubbing up against others’: Montaigne on Pilgrimage - Wes Williams
4. The Philosopher as Traveller: Bernier’s Orient - Peter Burke
5. Looking for Virgil’s Tomb: The End of the Grand Tour and the Cosmopolitan Ideal in Europe - Melissa Calaresu
6. Precision and Curiosity in Scientific Travel: James Rennell and the Orientalist Geography of the New Imperial Age (1760-1830) - Michael T. Bravo
7. ’The Ghost in Chapultepec’: Fanny Calderón de la Barca, William Prescott and Nineteenth-Century Mexican Travel Accounts - Nigel Leask
8. Partners: Guides and Sherpas in the Alps and Himalayas, 1850s-1950s - Peter H. Hansen
9. The European Journey in Postwar American Fiction and Film - Kasia Boddy
10. Per ardua ad astra: Authorial Choice and the Narrative of Interstellar Travel - Edward James
Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgements

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press