‘Wide Excursions’: Dr Edward Browne (1644-1708) and the writing of travel in Restoration England

Wyatt, Anna (2021) ‘Wide Excursions’: Dr Edward Browne (1644-1708) and the writing of travel in Restoration England. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis offers the first comprehensive study of the life and works of Dr Edward Browne (1644-1708), whose travel accounts were mined by his contemporaries for information on lesser-travelled parts of Europe. It asks four key questions to explore how travel accounts were created in the seventeenth century: 1) How did the traveller take notes in the field? 2) How did his relationships at home and abroad affect the manner in which he wrote notes and letters? 3) How did these archives, and the relationships behind them, feed into work that he ultimately published as a travel account? and 4) How did the traveller and his writings develop across the course of his life? This thesis thus draws explicit connections between the history of notetaking and epistolarity, the history of travel, the history of science, and the history of the family. By following the life and works of a single writer, this thesis demonstrates that travel accounts are deeply embedded within their material and contextual backgrounds, and suggests that Browne’s work was the result of his specific Restoration moment. It contributes a significant case study to the growing body of literature that foregrounds the multidisciplinary and multiform nature of the writing of travel.

The dissertation begins with an analysis of Browne’s unpublished account of his 1662 domestic tour, before assessing his two major continental tours of 1664-5 and 1668-9. Using these travels, it asks how he presented his lived experiences across different kinds of documents, such as journals and letters. It then demonstrates how the archives and experiences resulting from these travels were reshaped into multiple publications. Throughout, but especially in the final chapter, I draw attention to the vital yet hitherto under-studied role that Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) played in Edward Browne’s publications.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 10:09
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:09
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85386
DOI:

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