VTU Review: Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

Richard Lassels, Jean Gailhard and Richard Hurd: The Grand Tour Debate on the Benefits of Travel for the Nation


Authors:
Vesselin Budakov

Pages: 25-36

Abstract:

The Grand Tour, defined by a number of scholars as the early phase of modern tourism, was the subject of a debate which focused on its utility and benefits but also touched upon issues such as the significance of travel and the role of educational tours in the shaping of knowledge about native and foreign cultures. The article considers this initial stage of tourism and argues that in addition to the courtly paradigm, which stressed the importance of foreign travel, the education of the English gentleman included patriotic allegiance to the home country. It examines the role of the paradigm of gentility in the making of the virtuous gentleman abroad in Richard Lassels’s The Voyage of Italy (1670) and Jean (John) Gailhard’s The Compleat Gentleman (1678). The article also discusses Richard Hurd’s Dialogues on the Uses of Foreign Travel (1764), which marked a critical return to the debate about the role of educational tours. It is argued that Hurd undermined the former courtly paradigm and challenged the benefits of foreign travel by proclaiming British national values and advocating home education as a more valuable platform for the making of English gentlemen.

Keywords:

travel, the Grand Tour, education, improvement, Enlightenment.

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