This paper examines the surge in British interest in the island of Sardinia which occurred during the nineteenth century. By exploiting a variety of sources – such as the content of rare publications written by British travellers, the Baedeker and John Murray travel guides, The Times newspaper, and official documents produced by the British Consulate at Cagliari – it aims to construct a picture of the overall impression that the island made upon its British visitors throughout this period. This research attempts to fill something of the void left between past studies which have focused on the British political interest in Italian unification, or on the British cultural fascination with mainland Italy and Sicily. It builds upon the considerable work that Miryam Cabiddu has undertaken in this area. It also supports Maura O’Connor’s suggestion that British enthusiasm for the Risorgimento reflected a desire to see the country remade in a British image, by revealing how British visitors often understood Sardinia’s poor state to be primarily the result of its misgovernment. At the same time, it helps to set into context John Pemble’s observation that the Victorians were only prepared to acknowledge any sense of their own inferiority amid the classical sites of the Mediterranean, by helping to show how narrowly this preparedness applied.
|Title of host publication||Travels and Translations: Anglo-Italian Cultural Transactions|
|Editors||Stefano Villani, Alison Yarrington, Julia Kelly|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam & New York|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|