Ladies of the Grand Tour by Brian Dolan
British Women in Pursuit of Enlightenment and Adventure in Eighteenth-Century Europe

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According to the 1747 publication The Art of Governing a Wife, women in Georgian England were to "lay up and save, look to the house, talk to few and take of all within." However, some women broke from these directives and took up the distinctly male privilege of traveling to the Continent to develop mind, spirit, and body.

For many the Grand Tour -- often undertaken in great parades of coaches laden with servants, trunks, and furniture -- became an intellectual and romantic rite of passage. The landscape, health spas, salons, and social scene of Enlightenment Europe provided a wealth of glamorous, revolutionary, and therapeutic experiences from which many ladies returned "the best informed and most perfect creatures."

Brian Dolan leads us into the hearts and minds of the ladies through their stories, thoughts, and court gossip, recorded in journals, letters, and diaries. Ladies of the Grand Tour creates a mesmerizing portrait of a previously overlooked slice of eighteenth-century life.


About Brian Dolan

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Mark Galant founded GAIN Capital in 1999; today, the firm's proprietary trading platform is used by clients from 140 countries around the globe. Brian Dolan has over 18 years of experience in the foreign exchange markets and oversees fundamental and technical research at
Published November 1, 2001 by HarperCollins. 352 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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A study of British women travelers in the 18th century that began as a research file for Exploring European Frontiers (not reviewed).

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As Dolan points out, however, these benefits came at some real cost, since Continental travel, even for the rich, was neither comfortable nor safe, and the woman who remained too long abroad risked condemnation at home as unpatriotic, unfeminine or unchaste.

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