Discordant Evangelical Visions: Ideological Intent and the Construction of the Reader in James Richardson’s Travels in Morocco (1860)

Ahmed Idrissi Alami, University of Tetouan, Morocco


Most discussions of reader-response theories or aesthetics of reading focus on the analysis of fictional texts. However, as one moves outside the genre of fictive narratives into ‘hybrid’ genres, such as travel literature, the relations between author and reader become positioned differently and interpretations are obliged to take into account historical and rhetorical elements which are often more prominent than in most fiction. Subjecting James Richardson’s Travels in Morocco (1860) to the rigorous modalities of reading theories will illustrate the importance of historical critique, as emphasised by Jauss, and will provide a detailed analysis of the relationship between the text and readers, past, present, implied, imagined or real. (1) As a travel narrative, Richardson’s text is characterised by the intricate nature of its texture which incorporates information pertaining to ‘scientific’ presentation of statistical data, ‘objective’ ethnographic representation, economic description and the transmission of the author’s inter-cultural experiences. Structurally, the account defies strict classification in generic terms. The manner in which it combines these varied strands, conventionally assigned to different and autonomous disciplines, such as ‘science’, ‘memoir’ and ‘fiction,’ can be seen as part of Richardson’s attempt to create a dynamic text which moves from the generically peripheral position as travel literature to a more ‘central’ literary location as a ‘useful’ source for cultural, economic and political information. The title and perfunctory ‘form’ of the book as a travel account serves as an established generic vehicle through which the author seeks to inform his audience of overtly moral and implicitly colonialist aims; in other words, there is a pretext and a subtext of meaning which utilises the genre of ‘travel literature’ to accomplish its ‘mission.’ However, this mission depends on the audience of implied readers in order for the text’s meaning to be activated and ‘effective.’

Richardson’s Travels in Morocco is a highly hybrid text which exploits its heterogeneous subject matter to construct a subtly complex and intricately double-coded discourse. The claim I want to advance is that a mapping of the basic discursive strategies that operate within the texture of the narrative is central to the understanding of the ways the subtext is validated through the utilisation of a normative pretext.

Between fiction, history, autobiography and factual reports, the genre of the travel narrative had to reinvent itself in the first half of the nineteenth century by responding to the demands and tensions between various periphery/center dichotomies pertaining to the literary genres of factual report and fiction. We see what was in the eighteenth century a well-established and relatively unified ‘literary’ mode become a hybrid genre at the service of many interests and genres. Richardson’s narrative on Morocco is not unique in its portrayal of Morocco as an ‘exotic’ place ready to be ‘infiltrated’ by ‘benevolent’ Europeans. Two earlier works, John Buffa’s Travels Through the Empire of Morocco (1810), and Drummond Hay’s Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals (1846), (2) both ‘paved the way’ for Richardson’s text. In fact, at times, Richardson relies on these texts to create his own textual authority and corroborate his observations. He even positions himself against Drummond Hay, who holds very negative views of the entire country and its people, so that he, Richardson, can underline the economic potential of the country. Although this text seeks to be ‘true’, and objective, the genre of travel writing in the nineteenth century had its roots in the ‘literary’ genre of travel writing in the eighteenth-century, during which time the most respected novelists ‘dabbled’ in fictional as well as ‘non-fictional’ travel writing (Addison, Defoe, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, Boswell, and Johnson). What we see in the first half of the nineteenth century is a shift away from ‘fictional’ journeys which reveal the development of the protagonist, to more politically pointed descriptions of ‘real’ journeys, often to countries ripe for exploration/exploitation, such as North Africa, Egypt, South Africa China and India.

Unlike earlier travel accounts on Morocco, in which the narrative is launched by the painstaking description of the harsh and excruciating conditions surrounding the arrival to the shores of Tangier, usually by ferry from Gibraltar or Spain, (3) James Richardson decided to frame his narrative historically and politically by preceding the description of his embarkation by devoting the first chapter to an outline of the significance of the times in which his ‘humanitarian’ and ‘civilising’ mission is written. Such framing, however, remains partial and discursively ambivalent as it tends to downplay the imperial project, at its height on the continent and so powerfully felt by indigenous inhabitants since France invaded Algeria in 1830. Richardson also foregrounds the Abolitionist/religious mission which he has pursued elsewhere on the African continent. (4) This duality is reproduced and illustrated in the prefatory discourse written posthumously by his wife in which his previous achievements are hyperbolically eulogised and aligned with both his devout service for the Christian church and his relentless endeavour to expand British trade, activities which in turn facilitate his government’s colonialist designs. The cumulative effect produced by historical citations and ethnographic profiling and references to the political and economic situation in Morocco, in addition to emphasis on religious and moral ‘problems,’ give rise to a multifaceted discursive texture which enables the enunciation of humanitarian ideals through geopolitical lenses. Such a complex situation calls for a mode of reading which would address the issue of meaning-making from the perspectives of genre criticism as well as the critique of ideology. In this text we are far from the concept of travel as socially enriching for the individual and as here portrayed in the light of nationalistic and moral ‘duty.’ (5)

In order to illustrate the ways in which the author creates an implied audience which can sympathise with his highly subjective ‘reading’ of Moroccan culture and its economic capabilities as well as its religious ‘degeneration,’ I will first discuss the notion of the implied reader and then discuss how the two motives, one moral and religious, the other nationalistic and economic, vie for the reader’s attention within the text. Through an examination of the text’s deployment of various narrative strategies, which include lengthy quotations, the inclusion of ‘dialogues,’ references to earlier travellers and recourse to ‘data’ on economic life and geographical terrain, we will see how these motives relate to this implied reader and create a desired ‘position’ through which the reader can continue towards the ‘goals’ outlined by Richardson.

As has been well established and proven by many theorists of reader-response criticism, any act of reading implies an active dynamic process between reader and text. The production of meaning is always brought about by an ongoing series of negotiations between the text as a repository of signs/inscriptions and the reader’s mind. The reader’s participation is a fundamental component of meaning-making, as the reader is constantly called upon to actively exercise his/her mental faculties and to creatively engage with the text. The notion of the ‘ideal reader’ as outlined by Iser suggests one who must ‘share the intentions’ of the author. (6) But this text-based reading has to be complemented by the historical context as outlined by Jauss where his concern with the importance of history is integrally related to our discussion of the notion of the reader, both ‘ideal’ or ‘implied.’ (7)

Crucial to the production of meaning in James Richardson’s narrative are the textual signals and rhetorical moves that underline his construction of a potential readership. The author’s deployment of certain discursive stratagems aims at charting out a certain ‘map of reading’ which consolidates the implied reader’s understanding and interpretation. A ‘correct’ reading, therefore, would induce others to join Richardson’s endeavour to end slavery in the Maghreb; consequently, the Maghreb would thus be open to both trade and Christianity. Richardson creates this ideal reader through his choice of certain data and the way the text is narrated, in both what he makes explicit and what he holds back, thus "(spurring) the reader into action;" this action is "controlled by what is revealed" and the explicit "in its turn is transformed when the implicit has been brought to light". (8) In this sense, although the content of the work is supposedly drawn from ‘reality’ rather than imagined or creatively invented, thus implying that there is little ‘interpretation’ to be done, the text’s meaning inherently implies a principle of ‘intelligibility’ that is hermeneutically dependent on the interaction between text and reader. It is a transaction rather than a simple vehicle for pre-existing data.

These implicit gestures towards an implied audience/reader occur both within the text proper and in the posthumous preface written by Richardson’s wife. Early in the preface, Richardson’s widow creates an image of the potential reader by suggesting how the text should be viewed; she underlines the humanitarian nature of the author’s missions, which are, of course, totally in harmony with British nationalistic interests. A ‘sympathetic’ audience would identify with the importance of these goals. As Eco suggests in his introduction to his book, The Limits of Interpretation, in as much as the communicative intercourse requires ‘interpretive co-operation’ between text and reader or sender and receiver,

the functioning of a text can be explained by taking into account not only its generative process but also (or, for the most radical theories, exclusively) the role performed by the addressee and the way in which the text foresees and directs this kind of interpretive co-operation. (9)

This is precisely what occurs in the Preface; Richardson’s widow addresses a reader whose historical and political awareness of the significance of the ‘moment’ would render the information of the narrative highly valuable and ‘useful’. As she writes:

The present unsettled state of affairs in Morocco, in consequence of the War in which she is engaged with her more powerful and ancient enemy--Spain, must, I conceive, render any information regarding a region so little known peculiarly acceptable at the present moment. (10)

The ‘addressee’ is foreseen as a figure who needs and should want to be enlightened about this part of the world, especially at this "critical juncture in history." The nature of the knowledge to be gained is itself kept ambiguous, implied rather than overtly stated; the meaning or usefulness of the text, as well as the potential honour for her departed husband, depends on the receptor’s ability to ‘read between the lines’ and receive the text in the light of his/her response which is "context-sensitive". (11) The interpretive choices that the text encourages are in keeping with the profile of the projected reader insofar as the discourse is double-coded. In other words, the preface assumes that both the scarcity of data on this region and the political situation not only frame the experience recorded in the account, but constitute its value.

The next move of this prefatory note towards the construction of the potential audience emanates from the widow’s construction of a binary opposition between the community implied between herself, her husband and her readers, over and against "the strange and remarkable races of men who inhabit that part of the world [Central and North Africa]" (xiii-xiv).

It is not, however, just for the humanitarian ‘good of the public’ that she seeks to have this work circulated; she also hopes for the further enhancement of her husband’s reputation. As she writes,

It would be a great solace to me should this work be received favourably, and be deemed to reflect honour on the memory of my lamented husband; and, in the hope that such may be the case, I venture to commit it into the hands of an indulgent public. (Preface, xix, emphasis mine)

The implied audience is thus not only one which sympathises with Richardson’s work, one which will find value in his observations, perhaps being driven, on moral as well as economic grounds, to pursue further contact with this ‘strange race,’ but also one which will enhance the general opinion of Richardson himself.

In the account proper, one encounters textual instances that reinforce the concept of the implied reader as outlined above. Here the consolidation of the implied receptor gains momentum as the ‘represented’ culture and space of Morocco are rendered more foreign, as Richardson comments in his opening lines, "Morocco is the China of North Africa"(p.1), which is a telling metaphor, for it is in China that Britain had one of its most successful colonial enterprises. The reader is taken into the confidence of the author, who not only addresses him, but inscribes him within the speaking subject ‘we’. As he first suggests, "The Prince de Joinville was once going to open Morocco, as we opened China.."(p.2); this again implies the ‘humanitarian’ nature of the British presence in China while down-playing any negative connotations of imperialism. Surveying the profile of English relations with Morocco over previous centuries, he further establishes his relation with this potential audience by creating a dichotomy between ‘us’ and ‘them’:

Our diplomatic intercourse began with Morocco in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; ..Our own countrymen know little of Morocco, or of its inhabitants, customs, laws, and government; and, though only five or six days sail from England, it must be regarded as an unknown and unexplored region to the mass of the English nation. (p.6)

In constructing the implied reader’s vision of things, the author provides historical data that would render his presentation both factually credible and objective. Citing the recent Battle of Isly as a turning point in Europe’s dealing with Morocco, (12) he extrapolates from this situation to predict the imminent collapse of the Moorish empire, constructing this argument on the religious inferiority of Islam. He reinvents the current situation in terms of a triumph of Christians, including the implied readers, over the ‘Mussulmans’, suggesting that "Islamism will wear itself out--the Crescent must wane"(p.9).

Richardson also suggests that the Moroccan Empire is a worthy business partner, claiming, over and against the beliefs of his literary predecessor in Morocco, Drummond Hay, that the court "would always concede a just demand if it were rightly and vigorously pressed, and if the religious fanaticism of its people were not involved in the transaction" (p.14). In this, he creates another opposition, between the Moroccan court and its ‘fanatical’ people, thus emphasising the implied moral danger while maintaining the possibility of ‘honest’ trade and exploration through its leaders. In this first chapter, Richardson has created a bond with his implied audience, one which can hardly be ignored, although it does not correlate with any contemporary reader.

Early in the Preface, the mechanisms of duality and the way they are navigated are suggested in the widow’s description of the author as a devotee of the advancement of human welfare:

In Morocco, my late husband laboured to advance the same objects which had previously taken him to Central Africa, viz., the amelioration of the condition of the strange and remarkable races of men who inhabit that part of the world. He aimed at the introduction of a legitimate commerce with a view, in the first instance, to destroy the horrible and revolting trade in slaves, and thus pave the way for the diffusion of Christianity among a benighted people. (p.xii-xiv)

Such a formulation is highly revealing of the discordant levels of discourse that the text sets out to stabilise and contain. The foregrounding of the civilising mission is later forcefully sanctified as it is seen to be inscribed in the bringing of the Christian faith to these ‘depraved’ peoples. The pragmatic elements of this expedition, the expansion of trade and the appropriation of new markets, are casually bracketed out as of secondary value in this project. There is a sense in which the Preface could be said to undertake the function of ‘glossing’ the text and controlling (or attempting to control) its meaning for the ‘simple/implied’ reader. However, this reading is already undermined in the first chapter, in which Richardson quickly detours from the Abolitionist mission, the ‘official’ reason and purpose of the journey, in favour of elaborating on data which influence the economic status of Morocco. In particular, he emphasises the situation of Moroccan Jews, whom he sees as a useful go-between for the Christians of Europe and the Muslims of this region. The opening section highlights the significance of the historical and political context in Morocco and its implications for the European major powers at that time.

Richardson, thus, situates Morocco not only in terms of its own internal geography, but more importantly, in terms of its interaction with other nations, particularly through conflicts with France and Spain. For example, he underscores the military strategies of the nation:

The strength of Morocco lies in her internal cities, her inland population, and the natural difficulties of her territory; about her coast she cares little; but the French did not find this out till after their bombardments. (p.3)

Such a perspective is complemented by a description of the economic side of the empire:

In these preliminary observations, the commercial system of the Maroquine Court deserves especial mention. The great object of Muley Abd Errahman is --nay, the pursuit of his whole life has been-- to get the whole of the trade of the empire into his own hands.(pp.9-10)

Richardson is also careful to keep his ‘Christian’ hands clean in the process of dealing with these people who are so ‘other.’ The means by which he can do this is through the promotion of trade via the Jews of Morocco--neither Christian nor Muslim, a group with already established ties across Europe and in England itself. As he suggests:

The Emperor’s Jews are, in future, to be the principal medium of commerce between Morocco and Europe, which, indeed, is facilitated by many of the native Jews having direct relations with European Jews, those of London and Marseilles.(p.12)

After this ‘digression’(p.20), as the author himself describes it, the narrative voice speaks of "the Committee of the Anti-Slavery Society (which has confided to him) an address to the Emperor of Morocco, praying him to enfranchise the Negro race of his imperial dominions"(p.21). This is the ‘pretext’ of his journey, his ‘passport’ in the country and the reason for which he requests aid of the British Council at Tangier (Drummond Hay) in order to press his business to the court. Ironically, as we will see, this theme is virtually ‘hijacked’ by his economic and nationalistic concerns which quickly overwhelm all discussion of freeing or ‘enfranchising’ `Negro’ slaves.

Closely linked to the issue of the implied audience is the issue of the position(s) taken/assumed by the narrative voice. The interpretive value of identifying the different sites occupied by this voice, as well as the various tones that inform this voice, is predicated on the supposition that every text encodes a relation to the observing subject’s ‘ideological’ stance. Within a reader-response paradigm, this rhetorical configuration is also dictated and fashioned by the awareness of the implied reader’s vision of things as well as, in this case, an intimation of his sense of ethical values and political leanings. As the text engages with the representation of a socially and culturally foreign terrain to a ‘superiorly civilized’ audience, its texture constitutes an arena in which the multifarious aspects of this encounter are textually conditioned and informed by a diversity of positions.

In this respect, the narrative voice adapts itself to the various situations and textually recreates the mode of performance which best suits not only the record of data but the optimal impact in terms of cogency and credibility in the eyes of the projected reader. The voice mimics the tone of an objective historian, the stance of an astute ethnographer and the gaze of the moral reformer. The overall issue of objectivity is itself rhetorically negotiated through the framing of the text within a ‘disinterested’ mode of involvement foregrounded by Richardson’s widow early in the Preface:

While travelling, with these high purposes in contemplation, he neglected no opportunity of studying the geography of the country, and of obtaining an insight into the manners, customs, prejudices, and sentiments of its inhabitants, as well as any other useful information. (p.xiv)

The reader is therefore to trust the geographical, military and economic observations as emanating from an objective observer. The voice cannot be said to be overtly speaking for colonialism as that implies a certain ‘intentionality’ in carrying out the activity of observing. However, the predominant tenor of the narrative voice in the opening section undermines that ‘neutrality’ which is ‘conventionally’ associated with historical reporting.

The discourse wields many of the stereotypical statements that mark it as biased and subjective, for Morocco is described as a closed country which is hostile to outside cultures (pp.2-3). Moves like these illustrate the ambiguous interplay of ‘objective’ historical documentation and subjective interpretation which often reinforces the tension between the expansive and morally generous nature of the European powers in contrast to the closed and "hermetically sealed"(p.2) capitals of Morocco, which are led by a Shereef who is equally estranged even from the head of the Eastern Islamic world (p.4). Even by this time, England had had a disastrous colonial experience in Morocco. Richardson offers a brief survey of the significant periods during which Tangier was colonised, and subsequently the narrator’s tone acquires a regretful note generated by the fact that Britain decided to evacuate it in the seventeenth century as it was "disgusted by the expense of its occupation":

Had the British Government continued its occupation for half a century, and kept in check the Maroquine tribes, it is probable that by this time the greater part of Morocco would have been under British rule, when we might have founded a flourishing colony, from which all north Africa might have received the elements of Christian civilisation. (pp.37-38)

This passage is highly significant in the way it illustrates the rhetorical moves and textual strategies of the narrator in his attempt to evocatively suggest to the implied reader certain interpretive readings, yet at the same time, seemingly refrain from seeing them developed to their conclusions. It further exemplifies Anthony Paul Kerby’s view that "like self-narration, the writing of history is a way of consolidating a past, a tradition, and therefore an identity". (13) Although the author employs the term ‘colony’ in this hypothetical situation, he is constantly striving to cast his speculations in the interest of ‘disinterested’ pursuit of the civilisation and religion. By deploying similar shifts in the narrative, the narrator seems to situate himself in the tradition of the colonialist discourse which consistently appeals to various modes of ‘disavowal’ and ‘denial’ to legitimate its imperial interest.

In fact, Richardson’s narrative can be read as an ‘armchair atlas for a potential colonialist,’ as he describes each city in geographic, economic and political detail, when applicable. He even discusses cities he has never visited himself, relying on extensive quotes from other sources. He concentrates on cities in which there are high Jewish populations and which have been previously colonised, such as Tangier, Azila, and most extensively, Mogador (present-day Essaouira). Probably, the status of this group, with its ties with European Jewish communities, enables it to function as a reliable surrogate representative of Western, namely British, economic interests as well as a disseminator of Western ‘modern’ lifestyles.

If there is any doubt as to the potential purpose of his descriptions, Richardson dissipates it through his statements of potential military, political and economic entanglements of the Moorish empire within British expansionist policy. He makes the potential colonial value of this area explicit continually, while simultaneously negatively characterising the inhabitants themselves as available for co-option through his evangelical vision of reform. Richardson’s discourse on the ‘other’ (Moors) is intricately involved with the representation of the ‘self’ of the observing subject. This cultural encounter reinforces the self-centred perspective instead of engendering a reciprocal exchange or dialogue. If we concede to Foucault’s view that "discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but is the thing for which there is struggle, (14) we can certainly agree that the text stages political/ideological practices rather than benign documentary accounts and data. As Sara Mills points out, "discourses are not anonymous sites of writing which have little effect on people’s lives, but they actively constitute us as subjects". (15) Richardson’s text itself participates in the project of the constitution of the ‘other’, that is to say the self, which partakes of the general enterprise of nineteenth- century imperialism.

In Richardson’s text, the indigenous inhabitants are depicted as inhabiting a different temporal order from that of the perceiving subject. He thus connects this temporal asymmetry and anachronism with the state of ‘cultural’ destitution and moral depravity, which renders the intervention doubly urgent. This "defective state of culture" and ‘moral decay’ in Morocco convey "the unpleasant picture of an inferiorly civilised race of mankind scattered over a badly cultivated region" (p.173). In this way, the eye of the perceiver systematically and unflinchingly centres on the space to be appropriated in the absence of the inhabitants. This is a common rhetorical trope of representation which downplays and obliterates the human in order to highlight the expansionist potential of the land as unpossessed:

Were any European power to conquer Morocco, Aghadir would certainly be re-established as the centre of the commerce in the south. To a maritime nation like England, the repair and re-opening of its fine port would be the first consideration, and doubtless a lucrative commerce could be established between Aghadir and Timbucto. The city is seven leagues south of Cape Gheeer in latitude 30"35. (p.262)

By couching his observations concerning the potential ‘use’ and value of the geographical sites in this indirect vein, the author manages to sustain the sense of distance that is required for the ostensibly ‘central’ purpose of his humanitarian expedition. Historically, however, the speculative situation coincides with a shift in European conception of exploration from mapping the coastal ports and maritime locations to an obsessively intense desire to explore the interiors. (16) The passage enacts this new orientation textually by presenting the re-opening of the port of Aghadir as a stage for further expansion inland.

Even when Richardson does explicitly address the subject of the inhabitants, he is careful not to personalise these contacts. In contrast to earlier travel narratives, which often identify specific people and recount particular conversations, Richardson masks both his interlocutor as well as himself. This discursive figuration serves to reinforce his attempts to make his work seem an objective rendering of ‘reality’. For example, Richardson meets some Moroccan travellers in Spain, and the dialogue between them is identified as occurring between "Traveller" and "The Moors" (pp.18-19). Later in the text, he connects his discussion with the inhabitants more explicitly to a colonialist project:

I am anxious, nevertheless, to give some particulars respecting the population, in order that we may really have a proximate idea of the strength and the resources of this important country. (Vol.2, pp.104-105)

What this section encourages the reader to ask is the question "important to whom? And for what purposes?" The information about the population is not intended to serve as a gauge for the Christian missionaries needed. In fact, Richardson projects a vision of an evangelical utopia whose emancipatory spirit is transcoded to reinforce British nationalist ideologies and expansionist policies:

Whoever travels through Morocco, and will open his eyes to survey its rich valleys and fertile plains, will be impressed with the conviction that this country, cultivated by an industrious population, and fostered by a paternal government, is capable of producing all the agricultural wealth of the north and the south of Europe, as well as the Tropics, and of maintaining its inhabitants in happiness….(pp.174-75)

The abolition of slavery and emancipation of the population are figured within a future vision of development whose ideological underpinnings are signalled through the ‘paternal’ attitude. In other words, Morocco is a potential Eden, yet one which just by chance happens to be ‘inhabited’. The slippage in the discourse from a humanitarian cause to an ideological stance of colonialism is characteristic of movements of evangelical reform movements in the nineteenth century. (17)

In Travels in Morocco, Richardson negotiates these conflicting levels of his evangelical visions that expose the perils of altruistic transnational imaginings. The foregoing analysis has focused on the competing economies inherent in figurations of cultural otherness even when they are predicated on a universalistic emancipatory vision. It has also been informed by insights drawn from the reading paradigm which "intend(s) ‘reading’ in the more general sense of referring to the means and mechanisms whereby all texts …may be ‘productively activated’". (18) The construction of the reader has alerted us to the discursive stratagems and rhetorical manoeuvring that reveal the complicity of the transnational evangelical stance with modes of Western domination as well as the consolidation of European supremacy.



1. Hans Robert Jauss, Towards an Aesthetic of Reception. Minneapolis: U. Minnesota Press, 1982.

2.. John Buffa, Travels Through the Empire of Morocco (1810) London: J.J. Stockdale, and Drummond Hay, Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals (1846) London: J. Murray.

3. For a general survey of British travel writing to Morocco, see Roland Lebel’s Le Maroc chez les auteurs Anglais (Paris: Larose, 1939).

4. James Richardson’s explorations within central Africa are recorded in his other travel accounts, namely, Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara in the years of 1845 and 1846…(London: Richard Bentley, 1848) and Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa: performed in the Years 1850-51…(London: Chapman & Hall, 1853).

5. For an illuminating discussion of eighteenth-century views of travel as essential for a gentleman’s education, see Richard Hurd, Dialogues on the Uses of Travel, considered as a part of an English Gentleman’s Education: Between Lord Shaftesbury and Mr. Locke. London and Cambridge: 1704, in which Shaftesbury asks of Locke, "What I would gladly know of you (Locke) is, whether, in general, Travel be not an excellent school for our ingenius and noble youth; and whether it may not, on the whole, deserve the countenance of a philosopher, who understands the world, and has himself been formed by it?"(p.10). We see in the nineteenth-century a shift from the ‘ennobling’ and interior characteristics of travel to a ‘service oriented’, nationalistic and Imperialistic mode.

6. Iser, Wolfgang. The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, p. 29.

7. Jauss, Hans Robert. Towards an Aesthetic of Reception. Minneapolis: U. Minnesota Press, 1982.

8. Iser, p. 169.

9. Eco, Umberto. The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1990, p.45

10. Richardson, James. Travels in Morocco. 2 vols. London: Charles Skeet, 1860, Preface, xiii) All references to this text will be given as page numbers after quotations.

11. Eco, p. 45.

12. The French presence in Algeria since 1830 created constant friction between the French and the Moroccan governments in the eastern part of Morocco. In 1844, the refuge of the Algerian militant Emir Abdel Kader in the North Eastern part of Morocco led to the French army crossing of Moroccan borders and the intervention of the Moroccan army, resulting in the Battle of Isly. For more information on this and other incidents see Jean-Louis Miège, Le Maroc et l’Europe, 1830-1894. 4 vols. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1961-1963.

13. Kerby, Anthony Paul. "The adequacy of self narration", Philosophy and Literature, 12/2, 1988, pp.232-244, p.238

14. Foucault, Michel. "The Order of Discourse." Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader. Ed. R. Young. London: Routledge, 1981, pp.52-3.

15. Mills, Sara. Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing and Colonialism. London & New York: Routledge, 1991, p.68)

16. Mary Louise Pratt argues that such a change in the focus of the travel writer’s perspective is noticeable at the end of the eighteenth century since "America and Africa, long linked with Europe and each other by trade, became parallel sites of new European expansionist initiatives arising precisely from the new momentum for interior exploration" Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London & N.Y.: Routledge, 1992, p.10.

17. According to John Carlos Rowe, "the transnationalism of religiously motivated antislavery arguments often ended up reinforcing nationalist ideologies and justifying colonialism" (p.83). John Carlos Rowe, "Nineteenth-Century United States Literary Culture and Transnationality." PMLA 118.1, (2003), pp. 78-89.

18. Bennet, Tony. "Texts, Readers, Reading Formations." MMLA 16.1(1983): (3-17), p.3