Fynes Moryson’s grief: writing the mobile ailing body in seventeenth-century England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Contributing to scholarship on early modern emotions, illness and self narratives, this article analyses Fynes Moryson’s (1566–1630) descriptions of his illness and grief after losing his brother during his travels in the Ottoman Levant, as he presented them in his Itinerary (1617). It argues that Moryson uses his grief to support and construct his credibility, so much so that it becomes entangled with his presentation of himself and the ‘authorisation’ of his book. Travel treatises like the Itinerary are rich sources for emotion and illness as they were experienced by early modern mobile people. As this article shows, the particular intertextual nature, didactic aims, and often lengthy retrospective composition processes of early modern travel writing need to be taken into account when reading them for past emotions and lived experiences. Studying the emotional experiences and self-narratives of mobile people benefits not only the history of early modern emotions, but also enriches the cultural and social histories of early modern mobility, whilst bringing these fields of scholarship in productive dialogue.

Keywords: Moryson, Fynes, grief, illness, history of emotions, cultural history of travel, body, self-narratives, Itinerary
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural & Social History
ISSN1478-0038
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • cultural history
  • Moryson, Fynes, grief, illness, history of emotions, cultural history of travel, body, self-narratives, Itinerary

Cite this