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Abstract: A Sicilian Romance? ‘Banditti’ in Patrick Brydone’s ‘A Tour through Sicily and Malta’ (1773)

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Download Abstract: A Sicilian Romance? ‘Banditti’ in Patrick Brydone’s ‘A Tour through Sicily and Malta’ (1773)
  A Sicilian Romance? ‘Banditti’ in Patrick Brydone’s ‘A Tour through Sicily and Malta’ (177!" Social History Society Conference # $eeds %ni&ersity# March '1")n the last *e+ decades tra&el +riting has attained a ne+,*ound res-ecta.ility in scholarly circles# and +ith this has come considera.le interest in accounts o* the /rand Tour" Researchers ha&e# ho+e&er# largely ke-t to the same .eaten -aths as the ma0ority o* eighteenth,century Tourists# and the *ringes o* uro-e remain su.stantially une2-lored" Sicily remains on the margins# neither a -art o* the /rand Tour# nor +holly se-arate *rom it" )t is -erha-s *or this reason that Patrick Brydone’s ‘A Tour through Sicily and Malta in a Series o* $etters to 3illiam Beck*ord# s4"’ (177! remains today in relati&e o.scurity# in contrast to its contem-orary -o-ularity" Re-rinted in o&er *orty editions on .oth sides o* the Atlantic# and translated into /erman# 5rench# S-anish# 6utch and Polish# *e+ .ooks o* the late eighteenth century# tra&el or other+ise# achie&ed the success o* Brydone’s account" As the rst -o-ular nglish,language account o* Sicily the Tour  had a signicant im-act on -u.lic -erce-tions o* the island# +hich +as hitherto almost unkno+n" )ts narrati&e *urthermore esta.lished -atterns o* re-resentation +hich had a signicant in8uence on later tra&ellers and +riters" )n the rst letter o* the ‘Tour’# Brydone +rites to Beck*ord o* his determination to &isit Sicily# e&en though ‘many o* the roads are o&er dangerous -reci-ices# or through .ogs and *orests# in*ested +ith the most resolute and daring .anditti in uro-e"’ This -a-er +ill analyse Brydone’s commentary on these ‘.anditti’# and the ‘-olice’ +ho +ere hired to -rotect tra&ellers against them9 o--osing *orces +hose -ersons +ere one and the same# di&ided only .y con&enience and a ne sense o* honour" :o+ real +as the danger o* .anditry to tra&ellers? 3hat do attitudes to+ards the .andits tell us o* Sicilian society? :o+ does Brydone chooseto re-resent his guards# and +hat reasons does Brydone ha&e *or his chosen *orm o* re-resentation? )n ans+ering these 4uestions the -a-er seeks to demonstrate ho+ Brydone’s descri-tions o* .andits ser&e as one element in his construction o* Sicily as a romantic s-ace9 an in&ention +hich *ed the gothic and romantic *antasies o* the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries"
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