Cover of A World Made by Travel by Giovanna Ceserani
A World Made by Travel
Giovanna Ceserani



ISBN: 9781503636514


In the eighteenth century, tens of thousands of travelers journeyed to Italy on the Grand Tour. These travels in the age of Enlightenment contributed to a massive reimagining of politics and the arts, of the market for culture, and of ideas about education and leisure. A World Made by Travel combines —in dynamic format— original research with data and visualizations about the lives and journeys of 6,007 travelers. It reveals the diverse experiences, elite and otherwise, that collectively constituted the eighteenth-century Grand Tour.

This digital publication transforms the foundational Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800 (compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive by John Ingamells) into an interactive and data-rich interface. It introduces more than a thousand new figures, including hundreds of women, servants, workers, and Italians not previously represented among the Dictionary's primary headings. This digital Grand Tour is more inclusive, and it addresses and invites vital questions about a historical phenomenon that has long been studied with a focus on the most elite and well-known travelers.

A World Made by Travel is framed by introductory chapters explaining its digital approach, contains exemplary essays by leading scholars who worked with its data, and offers resources to help teachers bring this wealth of material into the classroom. By opening up pressing questions of scale and representation through its Explorer, it models how digital approaches involving shareable data can facilitate original research and generate new knowledge about the past.

About the author

Giovanna Ceserani is Associate Professor of Classics and, by courtesy, of History at Stanford University.

"Through its meticulously compiled data, expertly crafted visualizations, and rich contextual frame, A World Made by Travel presents the Grand Tour anew. Women finally join the men they journeyed with, and tutors now accompany the students they served, demonstrating without a doubt how digital history enriches our sense of the past, and contributes to the knowledge to come."

—Lauren Klein, Winship Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Professor, Departments of Quantitative Theory & Methods and English, Emory University

"This is digital humanities as it should be done. A World Made by Travel is nuanced, rigorous, path-breaking and in critical dialogue with traditional scholarship. Ceserani and her colleagues open up new avenues of research and teaching, demanding that we rethink our ideas about the Grand Tour."

—John Brewer, Eli and Edythe Broad Emeritus Professor, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology

"A World Made by Travel is so much more than a book. It introduces a brand new dataset and interface; frameworks for using that data in teaching; and important new scholarly discoveries the data enables. It's therefore not only a massive contribution to the study of eighteenth-century international intellectual communities, but also best practice in digital history."

—Ruth Anhert, Professor of Literary History and Digital Humanities, Queen Mary University of London

"Ceserani has laid the foundations for a new history of the Grand Tour. This splendid work of social and cultural history replaces anecdotes and episodes with data, and enlarges the cast of characters with hundreds of women and servants—as well as male virtuosi—whom previous accounts omitted."

—Anthony Grafton, Professor of History, Princeton University