Traveling to Unknown Places

Nineteenth-Century Journeys toward French and American Selfhood

By Lloyd S. Kramer

Traveling to Unknown Places

384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 29 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8239-6
    Published: September 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8238-9
    Published: September 2024

Paperback Available September 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Traveling to Unknown Places presents a compelling, incisive analysis of how French and American writers reshaped their personal and collective identities as they traveled in foreign countries after the social upheavals of the eighteenth-century Atlantic revolutions. Delving into the experiences of renowned figures like Flora Tristan and Margaret Fuller alongside lesser-known postrevolutionary travelers, this book illuminates how cross-cultural encounters pushed writers to redefine their views of nationality, language, race, slavery, gender, religion, science, and political ideologies.

Lloyd Kramer deftly demonstrates how unsettling journeys challenged cultural preconceptions and fostered introspective writings that transcended geographical boundaries. By interweaving the perspectives of women and men whose travels led them far beyond their youthful social origins, Kramer unveils a rich tapestry of evolving selfhood, ambition, and political consciousness across the Atlantic world. Each traveler’s experience was unique, but long journeys connected all these nineteenth-century writers with others who had traveled before; and trips into unknown, distant cultures also carried travelers toward previously unknown places within themselves.

About the Author

Lloyd S. Kramer is professor of history emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more information about Lloyd S. Kramer, visit the Author Page.


"This book intricately intertwines captivating narratives that shed light on the formation of identities through nineteenth-century transatlantic travel.”—Janet Polasky, University of New Hampshire

“Lloyd Kramer offers a sharp analysis of mostly little-known individuals, showcasing a unique perspective on our understanding of identity and notions of self. This book is a standout work.”—Daniel Kilbride, John Carroll University