Year of Graduation
Representation of Places of Interest for Foreign Travelers in Russia of the First Half of the 19th Century. The Case of French Language Guidebooks
Applied and Interdisciplinary History "Usable Pasts"
This MA thesis is project based and potentially may be used to prepare excursions for the visitors of St. Petersburg. Eventually it can become a base for a product suitable for practical use by touristic companies. It is focused on the representation of the Russian Empire urban spaces in the guidebooks published in French language during the first half of the 19th century. The main places of interest of the cities were analyzed through the eyes of the educated foreign visitors, who were the major audience for the authors of the guidebooks. Since French was an international language at that period, one could not say who exactly were those readers, but at least there were French language speakers. The research went through the following main stages: 1) working with the catalogs of main French and Russian libraries and identifying guidebooks published in French language during the 19th century with descriptions of places of interest in the Russian Empire; 2) compiling a database of guidebooks and making tables and diagrams; 3) that was the way to get some statistical data on the dynamics of these publications, the number of guidebooks published in different cities of Europe and Russia; 4) textual analysis of the guidebooks which were published in France; 5) making the draft of the touristic itinerary based on the representation of the St. Petersburg places of interest described in the 19th century guidebooks and final preparation of the text for the excursion.