The Haunted Museum: E.M. Forster, Italy, and the Grand Tour
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This chapter examines the broad redefinition of Englishness from the perspective of a writer, who, like other modernist authors, was disappointed with the direction his country was headed and felt at times like a stranger at home. Seeking in his fiction a countervailing measure against what he saw as a sprawling and harmful urbanization, Forster has to take an imaginary journey to Italy to find a powerful example of the enemy within that is furnished to Conrad by his Polish background. This chapter offers an overview of the long cultural history of the Grand Tour and shows that Forster’s characters become emblems of a renewed national consciousness only after they have learned to Romanize their provincial English backgrounds by Gothicizing their Italian tourist destinations.