About the author: Jeffrey N. Dupée is an Associate Professor of History at La Sierra University, Riverside, California. He received his BA in History from Walla Walla College and his PhD in European History from Claremont Graduate University. His disciplinary concentrations include Modern Europe and Modern China, 19th and 20th century Imperialism, with a research focus on British travel writers during Britain’s second imperial age.
2004 0-7734-6497-2 The travel writers, or travel savants, as they are characterized in the work, rarely traveled alone but typically promoted a travel persona of the idealized solitary traveler derived from deeply engrained traditions in Western travel literature. Such solitary projections were mitigated by a narrative device that envisioned traveling companions in the form of an imaginary British readership. They sought to bring to their readers parts and elements of China not yet visited or profiled by Western writers. A critical component of the study engages travel encounters, namely the crowds, servants, official, transportations forms, inns, foods, dangers, and hardships of the road. Such encounters invoked fascination and wonder, but also engendered fear, aversion, and irritation – responses central to the norms of travel writing and the travel savant’s identity that invariably colored the representational process, reinforcing existent stereotypes about China and the Chinese