Reversing the grand tour: Guest discourse in Indian travel narratives

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12 Scopus citations


In this article, Julie F. Codell examines the rhetorical turns and themes of travel accounts written in the late nineteenth century by Indian travelers to Europe, demonstrating how their "guest" narratives structured comparisons between Britain and India in particular, comparisons that at once sublimated and remained invisible to imperial power relationships. The essay shows the way in which these travelers "wrote back" to the genre of travel accounts by appropriating, reversing, and ironizing its conventions - including its ethnographic posture, the aristocratic Grand Tour, and the celebration of hospitality - as well as its specific vocabulary. Seeing Britain as at once utopia and dystopia, these writers projected an empowering atopia, which allowed them to imagine the future of India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-189
Number of pages17
JournalHuntington Library Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • "Guest" discourse
  • Colonial life writings
  • Indian travelers to England
  • Reverse Grand Tour
  • Subjectivities of travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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