When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Caroline Ings-Chambers
  • Course Code W24HMSC07A
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

This course explores the cultural discoveries and travel adventures of a selection of nineteenth century British women who both travelled and wrote. In the nineteenth century, women of the British bourgeoisie were expected to lead domestic existences, in reality increasing numbers of women were moving out into the world, some were even travelling around the world. Women travelled as tourists and companions of their husbands, but they also travelled as professional writers, social researchers, and missionaries. This course examines a broad selection of different women writers: Harriet Martineau (Society in America; Eastern Life Present and Past), Anna Brownell Jameson (Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada), Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake (A Residence on the Shores of the Baltic), Lilias Trotter (Parables of the Cross), Charlotte Canning (The Story of Two Noble Lives), Mary Carpenter (Six Months in India), Isabella Bird (Among the Tibetans).

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate women’s writing on travel and different cultures
  • Analyse the social and cultural background behind British women’s decision to travel and explore the world
  • Understand the cultural, cross cultural, and historical contexts of the written materials studied
  • Consider the social standing which travel and publication conferred upon women


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    The course will foster an engaging learning environment in which students can actively explore and appreciate women’s writing in relation to their travels on the American continent, in North Africa, India and the Far East. We will talk about the social context of these written works, what impact they may have had at the time, and any extended significance that they may have exerted.

    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this course beyond an interest in nineteenth century British women travellers and writers.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    This course is intended for personal enjoyment and cultural enrichment.

    What you need

    Reading materials will be provided on the course. Students may find it helpful to read some materials between lessons in preparation for the next week of the course.

    What you can do next

    Writing and Art by Women in the First World War; Pioneering Victorian Illustrator and Career Woman — Kate Greenaway