The Experience of Idling in Victorian Travel Texts, 1850–1901

  • Heidi Liedke

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Heidi Liedke
    Pages 1-16
  3. Idleness and Travel in the Victorian Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Heidi Liedke
      Pages 39-64
    3. Heidi Liedke
      Pages 65-77
    4. Heidi Liedke
      Pages 79-96
  4. Case Studies

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 273-279

About this book


This book brings together theories of spatiality and mobility with a study of travel writing in the Victorian period to suggest that ‘idleness’ is an important but neglected condition of subjectivity in that era. Contrary to familiar stereotypes of ‘the Victorians’ as characterized by speed, work, and mechanized travel, this books asserts a counter-narrative in which certain writers embraced idleness in travel as a radical means to ‘re-subjectification’ and the assertion of a ‘late-Romantic’ sensibility. Attentive to the historical and literary continuities between ‘Romantic’ and ‘Victorian’, the book reconstructs the Victorian discourse on idleness. It draws on an interdisciplinary range of theorists and brings together a fresh selection of accounts viewed through the lens of cultural studies as well as accounts of publication history and author biography. Travel texts from different genres (by writers such as Anna Mary Howitt, Jerome K. Jerome and George Gissing) are brought together as representing the different facets of the spectrum of idleness in the Victorian context.


Victorian travel texts Victorian literature nineteenth century travel Idleness and travel Victorian mobility

Authors and affiliations

  • Heidi Liedke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Koblenz-LandauLandauGermany

Bibliographic information