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Visualizing Africa in Nineteenth-Century British Travel Accounts by Leila (University of Turku, Finland) Koivunen

Visualizing Africa in Nineteenth-Century British Travel Accounts


Part of the Routledge Research in Travel Writing Series


Visualizing Africa in Nineteenth-Century British Travel Accounts by Leila (University of Turku, Finland) Koivunen

This study examines and explains how British explorers visualized the African interior in the latter part of the nineteenth century, providing the first sustained analysis of the process by which this visual material was transformed into the illustrations in popular travel books. At that time, central Africa was, effectively, a blank canvas for Europeans, unknown and devoid of visual representations. While previous works have concentrated on exploring the stereotyped nature of printed imagery of Africa, this study examines the actual production process of images and the books in which they were published in order to demonstrate how, why, and by whom the images were manipulated. Thus, the main focus of the work is not on the aesthetic value of pictures, but in the activities, interaction, and situations that gave birth to them in both Africa and Europe.


Leila Koivunen's study makes an impressive contribution to the growing body of critical work on Victorian travel writing. - Adrian S. Wisnicki, Birkbeck, University of London and Fordham University

About the Author

Leila Koivunen is a Finnish historian and an Adjunct Professor in the School of History at the University of Turku.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th September 2011


Leila (University of Turku, Finland) Koivunen

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Routledge an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd


368 pages


Classic travel writing



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