The Globetrotter: Victorian Excursions in India, China and Japan


This book features never-before-digitised early photography from Charles Lucas’s albums, held in the British Library: the first time many of the photographs are publicly available. It follows the leading figures of globetrotting, including Charles Lucas, Egerton Laird and Frederick Diodati Thompson, and has chapters on guidebooks, spaces, food and souvenirs.

Product details

As routes opened up in the mid-nineteenth century, a new generation of travellers embarked on excursions to India, China and Japan. Seeking authentic cultural experiences, these ‘globetrotters’ flocked to the East, towards what they hoped to be the unchanged landscapes and traditions of these three countries.

During their travels, the globetrotters dined on taboo delicacies, such as bird’s nest soup, and ventured into forbidden territory, entering tombs and temples not listed in the tourists’ guidebooks and visiting notorious locations. Their letters home were often accompanied by whimsical photographs taken in the cosmopolitan studios of Japan.

Much like the museums set up by these travellers on their return, The Globetrotter is a curation of encounters, lavishly illustrated throughout with reproductions of early, hand-coloured photography. The records of the globetrotter phenomenon reveal a journey of questioning preconceptions and of self-transformation through travel.

About the Author: Amy Miller is currently completing a PhD on the history and material culture of the global tourist in the nineteenth century at University College London. Formerly Curator of Decorative Arts and Material Culture at the National Maritime Museum, she is the author of Dressed to Kill: Naval Uniform, Masculinity and Fashion 1748–1857.

Amy Miller
British Library Publishing
Publication date
May 2019
240 x 165 mm

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