Photography, Travel Writing and Tactile Tourism: Extra-Illustrating The Marble Faun

  • Victoria Mills
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


Described by Henry James as an essential piece of ‘intellectual equipment’ for the tourist, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun (1860) was often used as a guidebook to Rome.1 In this chapter I will discuss how it was repackaged for a late-Victorian tourist audience. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Leipzig publisher Bernhard Tauchntiz and Co. seized an opportunity to profit from the burgeoning British and American tourist market in Italy.2 Tauchnitz produced unbound editions of novels and travel guides set in Italy including Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun (the most popular edition), George Eliot’s Romola, Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii and Rienzi and Charles Dickens’s Pictures from Italy. These books contained blank spaces onto which tourists could paste photographs or postcards relating to scenes in the text. Next to Hawthorne’s description of the Faun of Praxiteles, for example, visitors would paste or, in some cases tip into the binding, a photograph of the sculpture (Figure 4.1). This could be bought as part of a ready-made set from booksellers in Rome or Florence or from a photographer’s outlet


Historic Site Literary Text Visual Culture Century Practice Travel Guide 
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Notes and references

  1. 1.
    Henry James, Hawthorne (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879), p. 160.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    John Urry’s The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies (London: Sage, 1990) privileges the eye as the main locus of tourist experience.Google Scholar
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    Joel Snyder, ‘ Nineteenth-Century Photography of Sculpture and the Rhetoric of Substitution’, Sculpture and Photography: Envisioning the Third Dimension, ed. Geraldine A. Johnson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 21–34 (p. 30).Google Scholar
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    Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, ed. Susan Manning (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 116.Google Scholar
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© Victoria Mills 2016

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  • Victoria Mills

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