• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Tourism, Collecting and Foreign Encounters in Egypt

Battle of Alexandria, 21 March 1801

Dr Simon Quinn reveals how soldiers serving during the Egyptian Campaign of 1801 experienced their new surroundings and made use of their free time.

The Napoleonic era has long been regarded as a seminal period in world history. Less well known is its importance in the evolution of tourism and travel writing.

Going to war was itself a form of tourism. Hundreds of thousands of young British men were sent abroad to fight during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Travelling through unfamiliar lands, these soldiers developed habits such as visiting ancient sites of historical or religious significance, collecting antiquities, and observing local customs and cultures.

Join Dr Simon Quinn as he draws on a large corpus of memoirs, diaries and letters to examine the British campaign in Egypt in 1801. He will consider how British military personnel processed the day-to-day experience of soldiering, and the ways they entertained themselves in the intervals between combat.

His talk will highlight the significance of soldiers’ records as unique historical sources, and show that there was much more to war than the experience of battle.

About the speaker

Simon Quinn

Dr Simon Quinn is a Research and Teaching Fellow in British History at the University of Leeds. His published work focuses on British militarised encounters with foreign cultures across the globe during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Simon is the co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project Re-archiving the Individual: British Army Officers, 1790-1820.

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