Baedeker's guide to Northern Italy


This is the 1903 edition of the Baedeker guidebook to Northern Italy. The publishing firm Baedeker produced some of the most popular portable travel guides of the 19th and early 20th century. The guides contained itineraries, lists of buildings, monuments and museums, and recommendations for accommodation and travel. In many ways these books shaped the modern tourist experience, outlining the places worth visiting and providing summarised accounts of the history and traditions of different countries.

What is the role of the Baedeker in E M Forster’s A Room with a View?

In E M Forster’s A Room with a View the Baedeker is an indispensable possession for the British tourist, allowing him or her to wander around the city independently. At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist, Lucy Honeychurch, memorises Baedeker’s suggested itineraries before visiting Florence. Forster titled Chapter 2 of his novel ‘In Santa Croce with no Baedeker’. In it the unconventional Miss Lavish reprimands Lucy for depending on her guidebook, which she describes as superficial. The real Italy, according to Miss Lavish, could never be understood through a guidebook, but through personal observation. While the vagueness of the idea of ‘real Italy’ is mocked in the novel, it is when Lucy does not carry her guidebook that she gains an alternative explanation of the art in Florence, given by George and his father Mr Emerson.

Full title:
Italy : first part Northern Italy
1903, Leipzig, Germany
Karl Baedeker
Karl Baedeker
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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