By Giorgia Alu, Peter Lang 2008
This book offers a stimulating analysis of three non-canonical texts in different genres written by British women who lived in Sicily in the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. These texts cover a series of crucial political events as well as social and cultural changes which affected the history of Sicily during the period in question, all seen through the direct and indirect experiences of the authors. The book offers a historical perspective on the late-Victorian and Edwardian representations of post-Unification Italy. At the same time the author challenges current critical literature on travel writing which tends to analyse travel texts without making substantial distinction between works written during a brief visit to a foreign country and those produced during a long-term or permanent residence.
The book adopts an interdisciplinary, comparative approach. The three texts are studied by looking at patterns of connection in other written and visual works produced during, or after, an experience in Italy. By drawing on theories of travel writing, genre and gender, along with visual and cultural studies, the author aims to verify how the three texts respond to being analysed as a distinct group, and hence define the specific roles and functions of expatriate women’s writing.