Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes (7 June 1662 - 10 April 1741) was an English traveller. Born in Wiltshire, she was the daughter of an English Civil War Roundhead Colonel, who was in turn the second son of the William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele. Celia Fiennes died in Hackney in 1741.

Pioneering Female Traveller

Fiennes never married and in 1691 she moved to London, where she had a married sister. She travelled around England on horseback between 1684 and c.1703, "to regain my health by variety and change of aire and exercise" ("Journeys"). At this time the idea of travel for its own sake was still quite novel, and Fiennes was exceptional as an enthusiastic woman traveller. Sometimes she travelled with relatives, but she made her "Great Journey to Newcastle and Cornwall" of 1698 accompanied only by one or two servants. Her travels continued intermittently until at least 1712 and took her to every county in England.

Notes, Records & Travel Memoir

She had worked up her notes into a travel memoir in 1702, which she never published, intending it for family reading. It provides a vivid portrait of a still largely unenclosed countryside before enclosures with few and primitive roads.

Robert Southey published extracts in 1812, and the first complete edition appeared in 1888 under the title "Through England on a Side Saddle". A scholarly edition entitled "The Journeys of Celia Fiennes" was produced by Christopher Morris in 1947, and the book has been constantly in print in a variety of editions.

Fiennes was interested in anything new, in innovations, bustling towns, the newly fashionable spa towns such as Bath and Harrogate, and in commerce. Fiennes's patriotic justification for domestic tourism and her interest in the "production and manufactures of each place" anticipated the genre of 'economic tourism' which became formalized with Daniel Defoe's professional and survey-like "A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain" (1724-26). The economic tourist would become a staple of travel writing throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

She saw many of the finest baroque country houses in England while they were still under construction. Contrary to the widespread conception that country house and mansion visiting began after World War II, English country houses have been accessible to travellers of good social standing since Fiennes' time if not earlier, and her comments on the newly built houses she inspected are one of the most interesting contemporary sources of information about them. She was not a refined prose stylist but her enthusiastic, even breathless, descriptions are often memorable.

She is widely accepted as the first recorded woman to visit every county in England.


*"The Journeys of Celia Fiennes". Several modern print editions are available, some of them illustrated.
* [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/contents_page.jsp?t_id=Fiennes "Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary"] , freely available electronic version available at A Vision of Britain through Time, with maps and hyperlinks to the places mentioned.

External links

*The Daily Telegraph – [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/main.jhtml?xml=/travel/2007/08/11/nosplit/et-britain-rediscovered-111.xml "Great British journeys"] . Nicholas Crane. Writing about his forthcoming televised recreation of Fiennes 'Great Journey to Newcastle and to Cornwall' in 1698. Dated 2007-08-11. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
* [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/text/contents_page.jsp?t_id=Fiennes Celia Fiennes : Through England on a Side Saddle in the time of William & Mary (from a Vision of Britain)]

NAME = Fiennes, Celia
SHORT DESCRIPTION = travel writers
DATE OF BIRTH = 7 June 1662
PLACE OF BIRTH = Wiltshire
DATE OF DEATH = 10 April 1741
PLACE OF DEATH = Hackney (parish)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Celia Fiennes — Skulptur von Jeff Aldridge mit der Aufschrift: Celia Fiennes passed through this place on her great journey 1698 – This way post placed 1998 Celia Fiennes (* 7. Juni 1662 in Newton Toney, Wiltshire; † 10. April 1741 in Hackney) war eine englische …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fiennes — may refer to: :a prominent English family, notably including: *Bessie Fiennes, Baroness Clinton, better known as Bessie Blount, mistress of Henry VIII of England and mother of his son, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset *James… …   Wikipedia

  • Fiennes — heißt der Ort Fiennes (Pas de Calais), französische Gemeinde im Département Pas de Calais Fiennes(die englische Aussprache des Wortes ist [ faɪnɪs]) ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Robert de Fiennes (gen. Moreau; * 1308–1385), Connétable …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Celia — ist ein weiblicher Vorname (span. Aussprache [θe lja], englische Aussprache [ siliə]). Der Name Celia geht wahrscheinlich zurück auf das lateinische Wort „caelum“ (= Himmel, Wetter, Klima). Insofern kann die Bedeutung des Namens in etwa mit „die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Celia — Célia Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Célia est un prénom féminin. En 2004, c était un des prénoms les plus souvent donnés (23e prénom féminin cette année là)[1]. La fête usuelle est le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Celia (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Celia imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Celia is a given name for females, as well as a nickname for Cecilia, Celeste, or Celestina. Variants… …   Wikipedia

  • Fiennes, Celia — ▪ British travel writer born June 7, 1662, Newton Toney, Wiltshire, Eng. died April 10, 1741, Hackney, London       English travel writer who journeyed on horseback all over England at the end of the 17th century, and whose journals are an… …   Universalium

  • Célia — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Célia est un prénom féminin. En 2004, c était un des prénoms les plus souvent donnés (23e prénom féminin cette année là)[1]. La fête usuelle est le 22… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Fiennes — FRSL (* 1970) ist ein britischer Literaturkritiker und Schriftsteller, der mit dem Hawthornden Preis und dem Somerset Maugham Award ausgezeichnet wurde. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Veröffentlichungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nathaniel Fiennes — Nathaniel Fiennes. Nathaniel Fiennes (c. 1608 – 16 December 1669) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1659. He was an officer in Parliamentary army during the English Civil War and an active …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.