Historical Development of British Spas and Seaside Resorts

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Representations of seaside resorts begin to appear in poetry and novels in the late eighteenth century, and become frequent in fictions from around the end of the nineteenth. Seaside resorts are particularly valuable to writers of fiction because, like spas, they are places of haphazard, indiscriminate, or even promiscuous mixing, outside the normal restraints of family, locale, professions, trades or workplaces. This feature of the seaside is as evident in the Lyme Regis scenes of Jane Austen’s


(1817), as it is in John Fowles’

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

(1969), a novel set in the same town in 1871


In some twentieth-century novels, seaside resorts are places of existential isolation where personal and social mores can be precisely examined, a feature appreciated by…

2580 words

Citation: Clark, Robert. "Historical Development of British Spas and Seaside Resorts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2016 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19471, accessed 14 April 2024.]

19471 Historical Development of British Spas and Seaside Resorts 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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