Representations of Hungary and Transylvania in John Paget’s Travelogue

Open access


Hungary was an important destination for British travelers in the nineteenth century, whose travel accounts provide intriguing insights into the cultural and political climate of the period. John Paget’s journey was meticulously recorded in his extensive book entitled Hungary and Transylvania (1839) that served as a travel guide for other British visitors after him. Paget, who took part in the 1848/49 War of Independence, and became a “Hungarian,” opened Europe’s eyes to the Hungarian people and their country, destroying several false myths that existed about Hungarians in Western Europe, thus attempting to shape up a more favorable picture about them. The present paper examines a few questions regarding the representation of Hungary and of Transylvania in general in the travelogue: how did Paget describe particular cities and regions, the inhabitants, as well as their everyday life? I will attempt to look at the (changing) images of Hungary and Transylvania in Paget’s writing, as well as to offer an insight into Hungarian society and culture in the nineteenth century as contrasted to English culture and politics.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Beller Manfred and Joep Leerssen eds. 2007. Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. A Critical Survey. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  • Cs. Lingvay Klára. 2011. Paget John. Magyarország és Erdély. Napló. [Hungary and Transylvania. A Journal.] Cluj-Napoca: Kriterion.

  • Hering George Edward. 1838. Sketches on the Danube in Hungary and Transylvania. London: Thomas McLean.

  • Kósa László ed. 1999. A Companion to Hungarian Studies. Budapest: Akadémiai.

  • Maller Sándor. 1985. Paget John. Magyarország és Erdély. Válogatás. [John Paget. Hungary and Transylvania. Selection.] Trans. Rakovszky Zsuzsa. Budapest: Helikon.

  • Marczali Henry. 1910. Hungary in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

  • Maxwell Alexander. 2012. “Tobacco as Cultural Signifier: a Cultural History of Masculinity and Nationality in Habsburg Hungary.” AHEA: E-journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association vol. 5: 1-19.

  • Országh László. 1979. “Anglomania in Hungary 1780-1900.” Angol Filológiai Tanulmányok / Hungarian Studies in English vol. 12: 19-36.

  • Paget John. 1839. Hungary and Transylvania. London: John Murray.

  • Paget John. 1849. Memories VI. Manuscript. Budapest: Széchenyi Library.

  • Rubies Joan Pau. 2002. “Travel Writing and Ethnography.” In The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing eds. Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs 242-260. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

  • Wesselényi Polixéna. 2006. Olaszhoni és schweizi utazás. 1842. [Travels in Italy and Switzerland.] Ed. Klára Cs. Lingvay. Cluj-Napoca: Kriterion.

Journal information
Impact Factor

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.101

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 165 84 3
PDF Downloads 72 52 1