Viaggiatrici britanniche verso l’India tra Sette e Ottocento: il viaggio, la nave e il mare come momenti di passaggio
Eliza Fay (1756-1816) and Maria Graham (1785-1842) authored travel narratives and journals of their journeys to India in a time when the British Empire was undergoing important political and economic changes: they were not travelling for their cultural betterment, like the people undertaking the Grand Tour, but, in most cases, to join their families on the subcontinent. The essay focuses on the voyage and the ship, a place in which desires and hopes are discovered and formed. It is exactly during this physical transfer, between the far away port of the past and the still far away dock of the future, that travellers, perhaps for the first time, observe the other travellers and themselves, all participating in the same emotions. According to the writer of the essay, the 'Journals' and the letters by Maria Graham could constitute an ideal continuation not only of the innovations introduced by Fay, but also of the female dimension of the journey seen as a moment of self-exploration and self-knowledge. The two authors interiorise the experience of the sea voyage. Moreover, the quest for themselves, for a role, for a stable identity, is a quest which happens indeed while travelling, and ships, vessels, and boats gain from time to time a crucial importance for both women.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Marianna D'Ezio, “Viaggiatrici britanniche verso l’India tra Sette e Ottocento: il viaggio, la nave e il mare come momenti di passaggio", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XIV (2007), pp. 251-266