This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about tourism in Europe during the 19th century and early years of the 20th century. This book studies a wide range of texts drawn from literature, travel writing, guidebooks, periodicals, and business histories in order to understand what modern ways of thinking about culture and personal acculturation owe to the 19th century's ambivalent confrontation with a democratizing and institutionalizing tourism. It argues that the exaggerated perception after the Napoleonic Wars that the Continental tour was becoming more broadly accessible gave rise to new formulations about what constituted authentic cultural experience.
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