This paper seeks to analyze the development of the seaside holiday from a British point of view between the early 19th and mid-20th century. My thesis is concerned with the technological changes that occurred within the transportation industry and the class consciousness that ultimately led to the working-class acknowledgment of their right to the holiday. While this paper covers a period spanning over a century and a half, each chapter will cover a respective section of this period. I begin by analyzing the Grand Tourist’s experience going to the Mediterranean. Next, I bring the focus back to Britain and analyze the ways in which modern tourism developed throughout the 19th century and why the seaside became a popular travel destination. Examining the working-class experience on holiday is essential to this paper, as it relates to other themes I analyze, such as class. The climax of this paper is the Holidays with Pay Act, established in 1938, which provided millions more Britons with the ability to travel. Importantly, tying the Grand Tour within a contemporary analysis requires a deeper understanding of the post-World War II era where aviation became fundamental to the popularization of overseas travel, especially for the working-class tourist. The long history of the British fascination with the Mediterranean comes full circle with the 1970s package tourists making their way to the same destinations the British elites had once called their own during the era of the Grand Tour.
Cox, Dylan, "Sun, Sea, Sand, and Sangria: The Development of Working-class Holiday Experience from the 19th to the 20th Century" (2020). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9079.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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