Journeying in the eighteenth-century British verse epistle

2009-02-20T12:25:15Z (GMT) by W.J. Overton
Eighteenth-century Britain saw dramatic developments in travel and communications. As travel became easier, so too did correspondence by letter. This article explores the representation of various kinds of travel in the verse epistle, a kind of writing that has received little attention from travel historians. Discussing 25 examples written during the century, it argues that these offer evidence of particular value, partly because as letters they often engage in dialogic relationships with their addressees, and partly because they are also poems. The examples, some of which are very little known, represent all forms of travel at the period and over a striking range of distances. They demonstrate the development of a modern form of mobility and the adaptation of an existing literary form for its representation.