RÉCITS DES VOYAGEUSES FRANCOPHONES DU XIXe SIÈCLE ET ASPECTS DE LA GRÈCE À TRAVERS LA PLUME DE VALÉRIE AGÉNOR DE GASPARIN ET MARIE-ANNE BOVET
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 4
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Narratives of French-speaking Women Travelers in the 19th Century and Aspects of Greece Through the Writings of Valérie Agénor de Gasparin and Marie-Anne Bovet
Abstract: Throughout the 19th century, the French society showed a strong interest in Greece, which was consolidated by a profusion of travel accounts. The travel literature of this century presents the case of two texts written by women, whose approach relates to the viaticum genre itself as well as to women’s writing. This article analyses these two travel narratives in order to make visible the opinions of two French-speaking women travelers on liberated Greece and its inhabitants. These are the first volume of Valérie de Gasparin’s Journal d’un voyage au Levant (1848) and Marie-Anne de Bovet’s La jeune Grèce (1897). While focusing on the same subjects (women, the clergy, the political sphere), the analysis of the two accounts illustrates the relativism of the values of the two women travelers due to the fact that they visit Greece at two different moments in history and have different identities.
Keywords: women’s travel narrative, cultural supremacy, dichotomous view, Orient/Greece, Occident/France