Through Wales in the Footsteps of William GilpinIllustrated Travel Accounts by Early French Tourists, 1768–1810

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-147
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Romantic Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
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Taking the development of picturesque tourism in Wales since the publication of William Gilpin’s Observations on the River Wye (1782) as point of departure, this article examines three Anglophone illustrated travel accounts by French tourists during the Romantic period, focusing on the co-occurrence of text and images as they may confirm, destabilize, or even contradict each other. The diachronic approach to these early illustrated travel accounts uncovers the adaptation of aesthetic ideas and ideals across national borders and their subsequent influence on interpretations and representations of Wales. The article shows how French tourists utilized different aspects of the picturesque to demonstrate their aesthetic education or political affiliations, or to criticize social injustices.


  • tourism, Romanticism, France, Wales, travel writing, picturesque, intermediality