“Swimming among the Jellyfish”: travel guides, Elizabeth von Arnim, and Rügen

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In the opening of Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen (1904), the protagonist, Elizabeth, comes across Marianne North’s autobiography, Recollections of a Happy Life (1894) and her description of the bathing near Putbus, “a sandy cove where the water was always calm, and of how you floated about on its crystal surface, and beautiful jellyfish, stars of purest colours, floated with you”. This essay examines Arthur Schuster’s Fuhrer durch die Insel Rugen (1902) and Marianne North’s travel autobiography as background to Elizabeth’s Adventures in Rügen (1904) and how the Rügen novel began as a travel account before merging into fiction as the protagonist attempts and fails to write her own travel guide and, in opposition to social conventions for her gender and class, become a female solitary traveller.


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This article was originally published in Studies in Travel Writing. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Studies in Travel Writing


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