Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare and Literary Pilgrimage
9. Mrs Court’s Invitation to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, 1822
Mrs Court’s ‘invitation’ to the ‘nobility and gentry’ to visit the Birthplace ‘to gratify their own laudable curiosity’ constructs literary pilgrimage as analogous to the country-house visiting of the period, in which genteel well-educated travellers would apply to the housekeeper to be guided round a grand private house and would be expected to tip generously. The transaction was not explicitly commercialised (although there was clearly money to be had given that this is effectively a printed advertisement) and the house was at this time emphatically not a public museum.
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