Home and Away

2. Leitch Ritchie’s Wanderings by the Seine (London: Longman et al., 1834) offers another example of the increasing popularity of the pedestrian tour in the Romantic period. His designation of his travels as “wanderings” and his unusual pedestrian route beside the Seine typifies a particularly Romantic style of travel defined by the meditative ramblers found in William Wordsworth’s The Excursion and Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Ritchie’s account—part of a series of travel guides entitled Turner’s Annual Tour—bridges the gap between literary and technical travel writing that began to widen in the Romantic period. His account weaves between practical advice and a sentimental style of narration that favors the idiosyncratic and introspective. While providing the requisite information on where to go and what to see in France, the text’s evocative illustrations by J. M. W. Turner and privileging of historical anecdote, philosophical reflection, and personal response also appeals to the armchair traveler seeking a diverting and informative read.