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Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway

Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway

By Kathryn Walchester

Anthem Studies in Travel

‘Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway’ explores the surprising significance of Norway in the writing of British women during the nineteenth century, the country offering a place of freedom and possibility beyond Victorian Britain.

Hardback, 232 Pages


January 2014

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

‘Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway’ provides the first overview of the contribution of women writers to the significant body of nineteenth-century British writing about Norway. At once discursive and descriptive, and often containing practical advice specific to female travellers, the travelogue was the principal form of travel writing used by women during this period. Walchester reviews the ways in which female writers adapted this form, as well as fictional representations, to describe their experiences and to challenge their male precursors by offering new perspectives on the region and its history.

The nature of travel to and writing about Norway changed considerably during the nineteenth century, with both cultural and material consequences. Norway was a challenging destination before the introduction of reliable steam ship connections, better accommodation and improved railway lines enabled female tourists to travel in large groups. Tracing the journeys and motivations of various groups of women travellers such as sportswomen, tourists and aristocrats, this book argues that in their writing, Norway forms a counterpoint to Victorian Britain: a place of freedom and possibility.


‘This book sheds new light on British travellers’ long-standing fascination with Norway and is a major contribution to our understanding of how gender can affect ideas about nation and place. Walchester combines extensive knowledge of her material with a relaxed and engaging writing style. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learned a great deal from it.’ —Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick

‘“Gamle Norge” offers a wealth of under-explored primary sources, and little-known authors, alongside the work of their more celebrated contemporaries, in this well balanced, excellently paced, and useful study.’ —Clare Broome Saunders, University of Oxford

‘Walchester offers a thorough and fascinating account of how British women travellers experienced a country primarily associated with manly Vikings and a sublime, masculine landscape.’ —Peter Fjågesund, Telemark University College, Norway

Author Information

Kathryn Walchester is a lecturer in English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University.


Anthem Studies in Travel

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Gamle Norge; 1. Pioneers and Adventuresses; 2. Aristocrats and Socialites; 3. Tourists; 4. Sportswomen; 5. Norway in Fiction; Conclusions: ‘A Trunk of My Grandmother’s Clothes’; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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