Transatlantic Travels in Nineteenth-Century Latin America: European Women Pilgrims

Adriana Méndez Rodenas

252 pages
ISBN 9781611485073
Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory

Paperback: ISBN 978-1-61148-820-3, $44.99
eBook: ISBN 978-1-61148-508-0, $42.50

Transatlantic Travels in Nineteenth-Century Latin America: European Women Pilgrims retraces the steps of five intrepid "lady travelers" who ventured into the geography of the New World - Mexico, the Southern Cone, Brazil, and the Caribbean - at a crucial historical juncture, the period of political anarchy following the break from Spain and the rise of modernity at the turn of the twentieth century. Traveling as historians, social critics, ethnographers, and artists, Frances Erskine Inglis (1806 - 82), Maria Graham (1785 - 1842), Flora Tristan (1803 - 44), Fredrika Bremer (1801 - 65), and Adela Breton (1849 - 1923) reshaped the map of nineteenth-century Latin America. Organized by themes rather than by individual authors, this book examines European women's travels as a spectrum of narrative discourses, ranging from natural history, history, and ethnography. Women's social condition becomes a focal point of their travels. By combining diverse genres and perspectives, women's travel writing ushers a new vision of post-Independence societies. The trope of pilgrimage conditions the female travel experience, what suggests both the meta-end of the journey as well as the broader cultural frame shaping their individual itineraries.

"Méndez Rodenas's reading of these women travelers complements the imperial and postcolonial criticism about travel writing, and opens new routes for understanding female travel writing in more complex and dynamic aspects. The book is written with sophistication and offers a comprehensive bibliographic state of the question in women's travel, establishing a fruitful dialogue with it across areas and disciplines, between European and Latin American studies. "
-Leila Gomez, University of Colorado at Boulder, Modern Language Notes Volume 130/ No. 2

"Transatlantic Travels reminds us that European women travelers chronicled the defining events of post-independence America, and in doing so they left their marks as witnesses and interpreters, as social commentators, naturalists, archaeologists, historiographers, and ethnographers. And as such, Méndez Rodenas convincingly argues, shaped the way we understand and read the literary and historiographical foundational texts of new republics."
-Claire Emilie Martin, California State University, Long Beach; Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, Vol. XLVIII, No. 2 (2015)

About the author:

Adriana Méndez Rodenas is professor of Latin American and Caribbean literatures at the University of Iowa.


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