Real and imagined: Philhellenic travel in the Greek war of independence
This paper will discuss philhellenic travellers' perceptions and experiences of Greece in the early nineteenth century, especially during the War of Independence in the 1820s. It argues that the philhellenes understood Greece as a ‘real-and-imagined’ space. Greece is an ‘imagined’ location in the sense that philhellenic conception of it is shaped by certain rhetorical assumptions and priorities. But, evidently, it is also a ‘real’ space, not simply in the obvious sense that the landscape has a tangible existence, but also in that those rhetorical constructions have concrete consequences and expressions. The paper discusses the significance of this real-and-imagined Greece as conceived by a number of prominent British philhellenes.
Dr Paul Stock is Lecturer in Early Modern International History 1500-1850 at LSE. He is the author of The Shelley-Byron Circle and the Idea of Europe, and articles on several topics, including representations of Napoleon Bonaparte, nineteenth-century ideas of liberty, eighteenth-century racial thought, and philhellenism. His current project is about the conception and definition of ‘European space’ in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods.