In the nineteenth century, hundreds of travel narratives relating to different parts of Latin America and the Caribbean were produced. Recent years have witnessed an escalation of scholarly interest in travel literature, almost to the point of producing a new field of study. Researchers in various disciplines—particularly history and literature—and in the interdisciplinary fields of cultural, colonial, and post-colonial studies are recovering and collecting such narratives, searching for the gold dust and nuggets that will lead them to a richer understanding of the cultures and life-ways of the past. “Narratives of 19th-Century U.S. Travellers to Hispanic America,” compiled by Sylvia L. Hilton, is an indispensable source of primary materials for such excavations and provides easy electronic access to important sources for historians and literary scholars of U.S. and Latin American societies, as well as fascinating readings for a broader public.

In her introduction...

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