This work is about a lesser-known Victorian woman writer and traveller, Frances Minto Elliot (née Dickinson), author of several works of fiction and non-fiction which were very successful at the time of their publication. Alongside a number of texts on the social history of Italy, Spain, and France, Elliot regularly published sketches for various journals, such as the Art Journal, Bentley’s Miscellany and The New Monthly Magazine under the pseudonym ‘Florentia’. She had a wide circle of literary friends, including Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, who dedicated his Poor Miss Finch (1872) to her. Elliot spent most of her life in Italy, to which she dedicated a large part of her work, including, for example, the novel The Italians (1875) and the historical accounts Pictures of Old Rome (1872) and Roman Gossip (1894). She also wrote a series of travelogues entitled “Diary of an idle woman” in which she recorded her visits to Italy, Spain, Sicily and Constantinople. Elliot’s relationship with Italy was strong and lasted for decades – in her work, especially her travelogues, she draws an ambivalent image of the Mediterranean country that she explores from North to South, from the Alps to much lesser explored Sicily – that she even visits by herself with only the help and support of her maid. This work investigates Elliot’s fictional and non-fictional work on Italy in order to identify and critically analyse the strategies that she uses in her text to build up an image of the Italian peninsula to her British contemporaries. In addition, it explores how Italy for Elliot is a space of ‘otherness’ with a disturbing but also enriching and empowering potential for her – as a divorced woman who suffered from social stigmatisation in Britain, and as a writer. Ultimately, it provides an insightful examination of the extent to which Italy opens up a space in which Elliot has managed to find her own voice as a woman and as a writer.

Frances Elliot and Italy. Writing Travel, Writing the Self

Antosa
2018

Abstract

This work is about a lesser-known Victorian woman writer and traveller, Frances Minto Elliot (née Dickinson), author of several works of fiction and non-fiction which were very successful at the time of their publication. Alongside a number of texts on the social history of Italy, Spain, and France, Elliot regularly published sketches for various journals, such as the Art Journal, Bentley’s Miscellany and The New Monthly Magazine under the pseudonym ‘Florentia’. She had a wide circle of literary friends, including Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, who dedicated his Poor Miss Finch (1872) to her. Elliot spent most of her life in Italy, to which she dedicated a large part of her work, including, for example, the novel The Italians (1875) and the historical accounts Pictures of Old Rome (1872) and Roman Gossip (1894). She also wrote a series of travelogues entitled “Diary of an idle woman” in which she recorded her visits to Italy, Spain, Sicily and Constantinople. Elliot’s relationship with Italy was strong and lasted for decades – in her work, especially her travelogues, she draws an ambivalent image of the Mediterranean country that she explores from North to South, from the Alps to much lesser explored Sicily – that she even visits by herself with only the help and support of her maid. This work investigates Elliot’s fictional and non-fictional work on Italy in order to identify and critically analyse the strategies that she uses in her text to build up an image of the Italian peninsula to her British contemporaries. In addition, it explores how Italy for Elliot is a space of ‘otherness’ with a disturbing but also enriching and empowering potential for her – as a divorced woman who suffered from social stigmatisation in Britain, and as a writer. Ultimately, it provides an insightful examination of the extent to which Italy opens up a space in which Elliot has managed to find her own voice as a woman and as a writer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/130644
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