No Particular Hurry: British travellers in Finland 1830–1917
Published by CB Editions
The nineteenth century saw the beginning of tourism to Finland. Travelling was no longer a survival trek: the railway network was spreading, and steamers operated on the larger lakes. Visitors marvelled at the glories of the scenery, the comfort of travel, the excellence of Finnish education, and in particular at the remarkable independence of Finnish women. Travelling sometimes without escorts, English women recorded many things which escaped the notice of most male travellers.
But not all visitors came for peaceful purposes. Because Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russia, the Russian War of 1854–5 brought the British fleet into the Baltic, and sailors and marines wrote of their often surprising experiences. From the end of the century nearly all British writers showed concern for Finland in its prolonged struggles against ‘Russification’.
Selected passages from the accounts of nearly thirty travellers, together with Lurcock’s informed and entertaining commentary, chart the varied responses of British writers to the making of modern Finland up to 1917, the year of independence.
Tony Lurcock grew up in Kent, and studied English at University College, Oxford. He became lecturer in English at Helsinki University, and subsequently at Åbo Akademi. Returning to Oxford, he completed a D.Phil. thesis, and taught there, and in America, until his recent retirement. He is the author of numerous review articles, mainly on eighteenth-century literature and on biography.
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