Travels into print: authoring, editing and narratives of travel and exploration, c.1815–c.1857

Charles W. J. Withers, Innes M. Keighren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the relationships between authorship and editing in the production of narratives of travel and exploration. The context to the paper is the widespread interest in exploration and travel writing in geography and related fields, and the materialist hermeneutic apparent in the conjunction of geography, book history and the history of science. Through assessment of archival and printed evidence relating to the authorship and editing of books of travel and exploration published by the leading British publisher, John Murray, the paper examines the redactive relationships between writer and editor-publisher, illustrates the means by which authors sought status in their words and explores how Murray authorised explorers’ words and works. In addressing the complex connections between author and editor, manuscript and print, private correspondence and public audience, the paper has implications for researchers in geography interested in the specific relationships between writing and print, and in the general connections between geography, book history and the history of science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-573
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • geography
  • travel narratives
  • materialist hermeneutics
  • authorship
  • editorial redaction
  • exploration

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