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Title page for ETD etd-04132015-195730

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rasico, Patrick David
URN etd-04132015-195730
Title Two Navigators…Sailing on Horseback: Daniell’s and Ayton’s 1813 Coastal Voyage from Land’s End to Holyhead
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
James Epstein Committee Chair
Catherine A. Molineux Committee Member
Humberto Garcia Committee Member
Peter Lake Committee Member
Samira Sheikh Committee Member
  • Coastal Voyage
  • Britain
  • Travel Writing
  • Daniell
Date of Defense 2015-05-05
Availability unrestricted
The othering of Welsh persons was a recurrent feature of English “home tour” travelogues throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Yet, in the eighteenth-century English popular imaginary, the Welsh landscape acquired new meanings as a locus of picturesque topographical beauty. Against this background of anterior travel accounts proclaiming Welsh social otherness and visual praise of Wales’s ecological picturesque beauty, William Daniell and Richard Ayton defined the objectives of their travels around the entire coast of Great Britain culminating in their 1814 travelogue, Voyage Round Great Britain.

While few scholars have given more than a passing glance to Ayton and Daniell’s first travelogue, there has been consensus that it was a romanticist “hymn to the insularity of a nation” following the tumult and tribulations of the Napoleonic Wars. I argue that Ayton’s text and Daniell’s accompanying aquatints did not delineate the margins of the Island in order to reveal coastal Britons as a metonym for the social variation of a single, homogenizing British populace. They located social difference, the sublime “horrors of the coast,” and neglected spaces in Britain’s “wildest parts” in order to illuminate that there was little coherence to Britishness. Ayton’s text identified two antithetical definitions of coastal Britain: the pristine, neglected sublime coast of deadly rocks and unadulterated Welsh villages, as opposed to the terrain-blighting metal works and picturesque pleasure spaces frequented by metropolitan holidaymakers.

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