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  • Tourists

  • How the British Went Abroad to Find Themselves
  • By: Lucy Lethbridge
  • Narrated by: Lucy Lethbridge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Tourists

By: Lucy Lethbridge
Narrated by: Lucy Lethbridge
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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Tourists by Lucy Lethbridge, read by Lucy Lethbridge.

‘It is the paramount wish of every English heart, ever addicted to vagabondizing, to hasten to the Continent…’

In 1815 the Battle of Waterloo brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars and the European continent opened up once again to British tourists. The nineteenth century was to be an age driven by steam technology, mass-industrialisation and movement, and, in the footsteps of the Grand Tourists a hundred years earlier, the British middle-classes flocked to Europe to see the sights.

In Tourists, the voices of these travellers—puzzled, shocked, delighted and amazed—are brought vividly to life. From the discomfort of the stagecoach to the ‘self-contained pleasure palace’ of the beach resort, Lucy Lethbridge brilliantly examines two centuries of tourists’ experience. Among a range of disparate characters, we meet the commercial titans of Victorian tourism, Albert Smith, Henry Gaze and Thomas Cook, as well as their successor, Vladimir Raitz, the creator of the modern beach holiday.

The growth of popular tourism introduced new markets in guidebooks, souvenirs, cuisine and health cures. It smoothed over class differences but also exacerbated them. It destroyed traditional cultures while at the same time preserving them.

From portable cameras to postcards and suntans, Tourists explores how tourism has reflected changing attitudes to modernity and how, from the grand hotel to the campsite, the foreign holiday exposes deep fears, hopes and even longings for home.

©2022 Lucy Lethbridge (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Lucy Lethbridge’s warmth and wit make her the perfect tour guide to the intriguing history of the British abroad." (Lucasta Miller)

"To write well about the attempts of the British to enjoy themselves in that fraught territory ‘abroad’, you need a sense of the ridiculous, an eye for the poignant, the ability to leaven a mass of date with wit. In Tourists, Lucy Lethbridge ticks all the boxes." (Andrew Martin)

"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)

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  • 15-10-22

lacking any critical approach and wider context

TL;DR: A chronological laundry list of when the British went where for tourism and what they complained about. (Spoiler alert: it's aleays the food and each other).

There is no mention of colonialism and orientalism, the driving force and framework by which British tourist practices have always beeb defined.

Also no mention of how their actions affected local communities and the environment. (The maximum we are getting is that in Spain locals went from fishing to serving tourists for a living).

Overall, a huge missed opportunity to use the enormous amount of research that went into this book for some kind of analysis, instead of just listing it out.