The Flavor of Other Days

Rebecca Cawood McIntyre

in Souvenirs of the Old South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036953
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038667 | DOI:
The Flavor of Other Days

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In this chapter, the representation of Charleston as an aristocratic, European, and ultra-American city typified the strange ambiguities of the myth of southern aristocracy as presented by tourism. By the early twentieth century, tourist writers were luring northerners with a mythical southern aristocracy of both the past and the present. Here was a tourist experience that appeared to be genuine and timeless. Educated and affluent northerners lapped up this version of the South because it fitted their escapist needs and ironically buttressed their own sense of self-worth and superiority. Though tourism celebrated the South's aristocratic heritage and survivals, writers also implied that the aristocratic South was a strange world with a backward society unwilling and moreover unable to reap the benefits of progress in the United States. The aristocratic South had become the perfect escape for Americans who publicly eschewed inherited rank and privilege but secretly yearned for a more hierarchical culture of Europe.

Keywords: Charleston; aristocracy; tourism; South; United States; culture; Europe

Chapter.  5910 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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