This is primarily an archive of news and events held during the four years that Curious Travellers was funded by the AHRC (2014-2018). Members of the team continue to work on the digital editions and on C18th-C19th travel literature, and relevant talks and publications will continue to be advertised here. Please get in touch if you would like any of us to talk to your group or society; you can also follow us on twitter.
Textual Collaborations and National Identities 8 September 2023
Curious Travellers 2: A New Project 28 October 2022
Curious Travellers in 2019
A resumé of talks, events, and work in progress
Our AHRC funding came to an end in 2018, but work has continued on the project, and we expect several key publications to come out over the next two or three years. We continue to work on our editions, and hope to take the project in new directions in due course.
Mary-Ann Constantine was based in Oxford for a three-month period early in the year, working on the correspondence of the antiquarian Richard Gough with Thomas Pennant as part of a Bodleian Visiting Scholars scheme. She gave two papers while there: ‘Richard Gough and Thomas Pennant’: Bodleian Library Visiting Fellows Seminar, and ‘Encounters with Ancient Britons’, Oxford Celtic Studies Seminar, Oxford. She also had a chance to read Gough’s unpublished tours of Wales, undertaken in 1761 (in south Wales) and 1770 (in the north). Both proved to be engaging and unusual pieces of writing, with valuable observations on some of Wales’ most important medieval buildings; we plan to produce on-line editions of them for the website in due course. Work continues on her monograph exploring The Welsh Tour 1720-1820; Nigel Leask’s monograph, Stepping Westward: Writing the Highland Tour 1720-1830 was completed and went to press.
Three team members presented a panel at a conference on Reading, Writing, and Collecting: Books and Manuscripts in Wales, 1450-1850 held in the stunning setting of Brecon Cathedral in April 2019: Mary-Ann Constantine, ‘My companion through the Principality’: Richard Colt Hoare & Gerald of Wales’ ; Ffion Mair Jones, ‘Before the Book: Thomas Pennant’s Correspondence’; Elizabeth Edwards, ‘Reading and the Welsh Tour’.
At the Hay Festival (May 2019) Mary-Ann Constantine spoke on ‘Literature and Landscape’ for a radio interview for BBC Radio Wales Arts Show; and a panel discussion. Over the summer Ffion Jones gave a paper on Pennant’s Welsh networks at the International Celtic Congress held in Bangor, while Liz Edwards offered a paper at the British Association for Romantic Studies in Nottingham on the fascinating 1802 Welsh tour of scientist and watercolourist Cornelius Varley (you can read his tour here). Nigel Leask gave a seminar in Oxford on Dorothy Wordsworth’s travels in Scotland.
In July Nigel Leask and Glasgow colleagues organized ‘Old Ways and New Roads’, a Research Workshop, at the Hunterian Museum and Gallery. This was in preparation towards a forthcoming major exhibition on travel and tourism in Scotland: an illustrated catalogue with essays will be published by Birlinn in 2020.
In November, Nigel Leask and Mary-Ann Constantine presented the Curious Travellers project, and spoke about hopes for a future digital edition of Pennant’s Tours, at a digital-focused conference organized by Anna Marie Roos at the Royal Society in London.
In December, Mary-Ann Constantine gave a paper to the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar group entitled ‘Welsh Bard Walking’, which looked at Iolo Morganwg’s long, disturbed journey on foot from London to Glamorgan in the summer of 1802.
Ifor Ap Glyn & Alec Finlay [14.12.2018, Dr Johnson’s House] 21st November 2018
The Scottish Tours of Dr Johnson and Thomas Pennant [15.11.2018] 29th October 2018
Ffion Mair Jones: Thomas Pennant Society Annual Lecture, ‘”The lad at Baron Hill”: The career of Moses Griffith (1747– 1819)’, (18 October 2018)
An Exhibition at Dr Johnson’s House, London 24th September 2018
Research Visitor to Curious Travellers from India. 26th July 2018
June 14th 1726, Thomas Pennant’s Birthday 13th June 2018
Curious Travellers: Update and Events 2018 7th June 2018
Curious Travellers in 2017 20th February 2017
New publication: Volume of essays on Pennant: https://www.anthempress.com/enlightenment-travel-and-british-identities-hb
Nigel Leask gave the 26th Annual Thomas Pennant Society Lecture at Holywell (October 18). http://cymdeithasthomaspennant.com/eng/news.php
Curious Travellers at the British Association for Romantic Studies. (July 29-31, York). We presented a panel of three papers by Alex Deans, Kirsty McHugh and Mary-Ann Constantine; Liz Edwards spoke on the tours of Hester Piozzi, and Nigel Leask gave a key-note lecture on radical pedestrian tours.
Borders and Crossings International Conference (July 10-12, Aberystwyth) Mary-Ann Constantine gave a key-note lecture on Romantic-era travel writing and Coasts, and Liz Edwards spoke on Hester Piozzi’s Home Tours.
Mary-Ann Constantine gave a keynote lecture to the annual Eighteenth Century Ireland Society Conference, on C18th Welsh Travellers to Ireland (including Thomas Pennant, who visited as a young man in 1754) (June 7-9, Dublin).
A new itinerary added to the map 3rd June 2017
Mary-Ann Constantine gave the 2017 O’ Donnell lecture: ‘Curious Traveller: Britons, Britain and Britishness in Thomas Pennant’s Tours’ (May 12, Oxford) http://www.ox.ac.uk/event/odonnell-lecture-curious-traveller-britain-britons-and-britishness-thomas-pennant%E2%80%99s-tours
Exhibition: Landscape, Movement, Art at Oriel Brondanw, Llanfrothen. Click here for associated talks and events at Llanfrothen and the subsequent exhibition at Old College, Aberystwyth (May-July).
Windows on the World: C18th & C19th Travellers to and from Breconshire. (May 6 Penpont, Brecon, day-conference in association with the Brecknock Historical Society): [Programme].
Oriel Môn, Llangefni, Anglesey: a Welsh-language day-conference devoted to the Morris brothers. (April 29) Ffion Jones gave a paper on mutual friends and acquaintances of William Morris and Thomas Pennant. [programme]
Kirsty McHugh spoke on ‘Leeds, Loch Lomond & the Lakes: the Marshalls, the Wordsworths and home tourism’ at Romanticism takes to the hills. April 29 (Edge Hill University).
Nigel Leask gave a lecture on Thomas Pennant to the Royal Philosophical Society in Glasgow (March 8, Glasgow).
Nigel Leask and Alex Deans spoke about mapping the Pennant Tours at the National Library of Scotland. (February 17, Edinburgh)
Alex Deans gave a paper on Pennant & Banks: ‘With a facility of communication’: Pennant, Banks and collaborative knowledge-making’ at a National Portrait Gallery Workshop: ‘Science, Self-fashioning and Representation in Joseph Banks’s Circles’. [abstract] (January 26-27, London)
An Interactive Map of Thomas Pennant’s Tours of Scotland 24th October 2016
Curious Travellers: Movement, Landscape, Art (19 November 2016) 12th October 2016
‘Curious Travellers: Movement, Landscape, Art’ – A Preview 3rd October 2016
Hafod: 15 June 2016 25th May 2016
The Power of Place 10th May 2016
Layered Landscapes: geology and travel in Romantic-era Britain 18th November 2015
Thomas Pennant Society Silver Jubilee Lecture 11th September 2015
Thomas Pennant and Enlightenment Networks 31st August 2015
In Pennant’s footsteps… 14th June 2015
Conferences in Cardiff and Aberystwyth 12th June 2015
Fingalian Topgraphies 30th April 2015
Fully-funded PhD 13th February 2015
The Scenic Route 19 October 2014
Classical Celtic: Wales and Scotland in Mediterranean Light 19 September 2014
Curious Travellers: a new research project 1 September 2014