• Mapping ‘Wordsworthshire’: A GIS Study of Literary Tourism in Victorian Lakeland

      Donaldson, Christopher; Gregory, Ian; Murrieta-Flores, Patricia; University of Birmingham; Lancaster University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2015-08-14)
      This article answers the call for scholarship that models the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS) technologies in literary-historical research. In doing so, it creates a step change to the integration of digital methodologies in the humanities. Combining methods and perspectives from cultural history, literary studies, and geographic information sciences, the article confirms, challenges, and extends understanding of Victorian literary tourism in the English Lake District. It engages with the accounts of several nineteenth-century tourists, paying specific attention to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s English Notebooks and Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley’s A Coach Drive at the Lakes, which are examined alongside contemporaneous guidebooks and other commercial tourist publications. In the process, the article draws attention to a spatial correlation between the route of the Ambleside turnpike (the Lake District’s principal coach road) and the major literary sites to which Victorian Lakeland visitors were guided. Recognizing this correlation, we contend, helps to deepen our appreciation of how the physical and imaginative geographies of the Lake District region interrelate. Specifically, it helps us appreciate how the Victorian fascination with the Lakeland’s literary associations was modulated not only by interest in the region’s other attractions, but also by material conditions on the ground.