Tourists: How the British Went Abroad to Find Themselves
'Full of human interest and fresh insights, Tourists offers a wonderfully enjoyable account of one of the defining phenomena of the past two centuries.' David Kynaston
'It is the paramount wish of every English heart, ever addicted to vagabondizing, to hasten to the Continent...'
In the early 1800s, a new social phenomenon was born in Britain. The exploration of Europe, previously the preserve of the wealthy and aristocratic, began to be taken up by the British middle classes. The era of the lofty Grand Tour was over; here instead was the advent of tourism as we know it today.
In Tourists , Lucy Lethbridge brings the voices of ordinary British travellers vividly to life. She charts the rise of guidebooks, explores the connection between tourism and mass production and shines a light on the evolving public attitudes towards leisure. Sweeping in its scope, extensively researched and brilliantly observed, Tourists is an original and fascinating portrait of Brits abroad, with all their foibles and eccentricities. It spans two centuries of British experiences of travel: from the allure of Spanish seaside holidays to the alarming nature of foreign food, from the appetite for architecture and art to the drama of finding a proper cup of tea.Written with warmth and wit, Tourists serves as a reminder of the long, sometimes comic, always complex relationship between the British and their holiday destinations.
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