Business as Usual: The 1880s and 1890s

  • Richard Scully
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


The pattern evident in the 1870s, of little change in the way British travellers imagined Germany despite its wars and unification, continued right down to the turn of the twentieth century. There were subtle changes in the way British authors wrote about their experiences in the new Reich, but these had more to do with the opening up of more areas to explore. The invention of newer leisure activities — such as cycling or ‘tramping’ — or the extension of pastimes such as yachting and sailing to regions of Germany where these had not hitherto been popular, also contributed to minor changes in the themes of travel writing. As the new century approached, moreover, it is true that the ‘change of British official policy did not find any repercussions in travel writings’, but where mention is made of the growth of Anglo-German competition in the commercial or naval arenas, this results in ‘only stirring a few contradicting ripples here and there’.1 British tourists continued to visit Germany in large numbers, often for the same reasons which had attracted previous generations of travellers, and unperturbed by any perceived antagonism between their respective nations or governments. Importantly, sales of the various travellers’ hand-books to Germany remained strong in this period, and it is true to say that ’the Baedeker was simply not considered in reference to Anglo-German antagonism’.2


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© Richard Scully 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Scully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New EnglandAustralia

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