Dr Alan McNee

Contact details

Dr Alan McNee
PhD (birkbeck, 2013), Masters in Victorian Studies (Birkbeck, 2009)
Position/Fellowship type:
Research Fellow
Fellowship term:
02-Sep-2018 to 01-May-2024
Institute of English Studies
Home institution:
Institute of English studies
Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
English Literature, Manuscript studies, Modern History , Regional history
England, Ireland, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales
Summary of research interests and expertise:

I work on accounts of travel and tourism in the period roughly 1870 to 1914, with a particular focus on unpublished and unofficial texts, including visitors’ books, guest books, postcards, personal correspondence and diaries. I am also currently working on the explorer, painter and writer Arnold Henry Savage Landor, examining his accounts of his Tibetan travels in the 1890s. 

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

I have now tracked down and examined nearly all the visitors’ books and guest books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that survive in archives and private collections in mainland Britain, and have published a number of journal articles on my findings. I am trying to expand my body of texts to include other narratives, with a special emphasis on the lower-middle classes and working classes who were able to travel for the first time as a result of socio-economic changes. 

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
21-Dec-2022 ' 'Arry and 'Arriet out on a spree': trippers, tourists and travellers writing in late-Victorian visitors' books

Journal articles

Studies in Travel Writing, 24 (2), 2020, pp. 142-156 

06-Apr-2022 'Scorchers', 'Wheelmen' , and 'road lice': visitors' books and cycling culture in late-Victorian Britain

Journal articles

Studies in Travel Writing, 25 (3), 2021 pp. 298-314

01-Mar-2022 'Overcrowded with tourists': Guest books, postcards and other popular forms as 'micro-texts' of travel writing

Journal articles

Cahiers victoriens et édourdiens, 95 Spring 2022 (online) 

01-Aug-2021 The New Tourists


History Today, 71 (8), August 2021

26-Jan-2021 Travelling Communities: irreverence and class tension in late-Victorian visitors' books

Journal articles

Cahiers d'Agora: revue en humanités, 4 (2020), 

27-Sep-2019 We're All Going on a Summer Holiday: The Rise of Thomas Cook


History Workshop Online, September 2019

01-Jan-2016 The New Mountaineer in Late Victorian Britain: Materiality, Modernity, and the Haptic Sublime


In series Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) 

31-Dec-2015 Mountain Accidents

Journal articles

Victorian Review, 40 (2), Fall 2014, pp. 26-30 

01-May-2015 The Cockney Who Sold the Alps: Albert Smith and the Ascent of Mont Blanc


Victorian Secrets, Brighton 2015 

21-Oct-2014 The Haptic Sublime and the 'cold stony reality' of mountaineering

Journal articles

19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 19 (2014), online

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
11-May-2023 Hotels and the Registration of Travellers, Migrants & Tourists: Comparative Historical Perspectives

Gave a joint paper at this symposium at VLIZ, Innovocean Campus, Ostend, Belgium 

01-Jun-2021 'The Register and Visitors' Book in Historical Scholarship'

I participated in this online symposium organised by Professor Kevin James at the University of Guelph in June 2021. Selected papers from the symposium were later expanded and published as part of a special edition of the journal Studies in Travel Writing. 

04-Jul-2019 'Borders and Crossings: an interdisciplinary conference on travel writing'

I gave a paper on visitors' books at this annual travel writing conference at the University of Leicester. Selected papers from the conference, including my own, later formed the basis for a special issue of the journal Studies in Travel Writing

09-May-2018 'Brits Abroad, Brits at Home: Travel Narratives from the Grand Tour to the End of Empire'

I organised and moderated this one-day colloquium on historical travel writing at Senate House in May, 2018, while I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the IES. 

06-Apr-2018 'Communities' symposium, University of Cergy-Pontoise, Paris

I spoke about my research on visitors' books to this symposium organised by the North European Nineteenth Century Studies Network in April, 2018

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