Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour 1760-1815
On 1 September 2014, thanks to an AHRC research grant of £785,784, the Centre begins a brand-new Romantic-period project: 'Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour 1760-1815'. Run jointly with the University of Glasgow, the project will explore travellers' accounts of their journeys into Wales and Scotland, with a focus on the writings of the Flintshire naturalist and antiquarian Thomas Pennant (1726-98), whose published Tours of both countries did so much to awaken public interest in the 'peripheries' of Britain.
This project will open a window onto the vivid and often entertaining accounts of scores of 'curious travellers' who headed for the edges of the British Isles in search of the primitive, the picturesque and the sublime - and often found the foreign, and the unsettling, surprisingly close to home.
by Principal Investigator Dr Mary-Ann Constantine (CAWCS) and Co-Investigator
Professor Nigel Leask (Glasgow), the project team will include Dr Elizabeth
Edwards and Dr Ffion Mair Jones of CAWCS, with Dr Mark Herraghty and another
research assistant providing Scottish expertise and technical support in
Glasgow. We will produce two freely available research tools: a database of
Pennant’s extensive and scattered correspondence, and a searchable online
corpus of some sixty previously unpublished Welsh and Scottish tours; two
monographs and various articles. We will also develop a ‘Curious Travellers’
website as a lively source of information about the experience of travel in
Scotland and Wales in the period. It will include clickable maps of selected
routes and a bibliography of hundreds of published and unpublished Welsh and
Scottish tours. With the help of Dr R. Paul Evans of Denbigh High School,
sections of the website will be developed to provide useful resources for the
school history curriculum.
series of conferences and exhibitions based in national and local museums and
libraries across Wales and Scotland will highlight the visual and material
aspects of the tour, from landscape-painting to Roman antiquities and natural
history. Creative events will include some of our most prominent artists and
writers retracing Pennant’s itineraries (in all weathers) to create their own modern versions of the Tour; look out for
pictures, poems and disgruntled comments on our Pennant blog!