Travel Narratives

Since the colonial period, American travel narratives have explored competing ideas of what it means to be a man. Whether taking the form of brief sketches published in newspapers or full-length books, travel narratives have dealt both explicitly and implicitly with issues of manhood. The act of writing about travel has given authors the opportunity to present the varying qualities of masculinity that emerge on personal journeys. Moreover, assumptions about the purpose of travel have been informed by notions of masculinity, underscoring the central importance of gender in the literature of travel.

The travel narrative first emerged in the late eighteenth century as a result of a man's presumed duty to produce knowledge. Men's travel narratives were considered to be both accurate descriptions of the world ...

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