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Mass Tourism, or the Mob-in-the-Streets Travels Abroad

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Chapter Summary

The political and ideological themes emerging from the Grand Tour over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also inform travel writing produced during the first half of the twentieth, the era preceding mass tourism. During this period upper class travellers found reassurance in far-away places where the kind of socio-economic hierarchy they favoured, monarch, nobility, dependent followers of one sort or another, was intact. For all the writers, mass tourism is equated with the 'mob-in-the-streets', the despoilation of the 'natural' landscape, and of nature itself. For Byron the main purpose of travel abroad was to clarify the meaning of English national identity. Tynan expressed concerns about the impact of mass tourism, categorizing himself as a 'more selective' visitor who wished 'to escape the company of one's compatriots'. The pastoral variant endorsed by Naipaul is found not in Africa but in England, where his identity is that of a country squire.

Keywords: Africa; agrarian myth; Byron; England; mass tourism; mob-in-the-streets; Naipaul; Tynan

10.1163/9789004273948_009
/content/books/b9789004273948s009
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