The Grand Tour

Jennifer Mori

in The Culture of Diplomacy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780719082726
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702703 | DOI:
The Grand Tour

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Tourists and the Grand Tour were an inescapable part of every diplomat's life, particularly for those posted to France, Italy and the United Provinces. The tour, a rite of passage for the scions of the nobility and gentry, required young men to travel in particular to France and Italy to acquire the social and culture polish that would make them complete gentlemen. The Grand Tour was supposed to be a transformative experience by which its participants were to shed the prejudices of youth and provincialism to become sophisticated men of the world. This chapter reveals many concerns about the tour: most notably the qualifications and reliability of bearleaders; the importance of keeping good company; and the moral pitfalls of travel abroad.

Keywords: Grand Tour; diplomat's life; moral pitfalls; provincialism; bearleaders; France; Italy; United Provinces

Chapter.  7290 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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