A Woman's World Tour in a Motor: 11/03/17
In the spring of 2015, I decided to revisit a road narrative project I had begun in grad school in 1995. The decision was fueled by two factors: the finding of my handwritten bibliography and by a friend's research (food and dystopian narratives).
While brainstorming my initial attack on the topic, I wondered if other nations should be included into the research. While I'm still half eying the stories out of the Commonwealth and Japan, I've definitely come to the decision to avoid a more comprehensive canvassing of road narratives.
The road narrative tropes and themes are not universal. In the American road narrative, the road and the vehicle are characters as much as the people traveling. This is true for fact and fiction — memoir and novel.
In the case of tours taken outside of the confines of the United States or taken by foreigners inside the United States, the stops and the people visited are often more important than the method getting there.
A Woman's World Tour in a Motor by Harriet White Fisher published in 1911 definitely focuses on the people and places, rather than the car or roads. Early on there was some mention of the type of vehicle used and the fact that it had an oil problem in Paris.
Mostly though the focus was on the castles, houses, and famous people Fisher met on her drive. There was also a lot of time spent on her dog, Honk Honk, who was a gift before the journey began.
The book with its focus on a pre-WWI world, while historically interesting, isn't really relevant for the direction my project has taken. The one star, therefore, is a sign that I didn't finish the book, not that the book is terrible.