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Two writers on the radio
Listen to this extract from a radio programme
presenting writers Lesley Morris and Wendy Johnson who have just
published two interesting books about tourism. At this first step,
just listen for general comprehension. Then try to answer these two
questions below. Finally check the correct answers.
Lesley Morris' book about?
What is Wendy Johnson's book about?
At this second step, pay close
attention to what it is said because you will have to do a
special listening activity on the next page without checking the
Now listen again to Lesley Morris and
Wendy Johnson's interview while you check the transcription of their
first ever package holiday took place on July 5th 1841. It was an
away-day to Loughborough from Leicester. A train was chartered for
its passengers to attend a religious festival. The whole trip, for
570 people, was organised by a then unknown man, Thomas Cook.
Lesley Morris has written Package Tourists
about the origins of the package tour. Wendy Johnson is author of a
book about famous women travellers, Wandering Women. Lesley,
have people always travelled or did it really only start in the
Oh no, they always travelled but the difficulty was that people
only really went for reasons of war, or for business, or on a
pilgrimage. I mean, there are records of 15th century women going
off on pilgrimages and more or less going by themselves, but it was
incredibly difficult to do apart from that.
Wendy, some of the women that you've uncovered did make
extraordinary expeditions early on.
They did, yes. There were the great British women travellers,
like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who went off to Turkey in 1716,
thereby scandalising society; or Lady Hester Stanhope, who wandered
round the Middle East, describing herself as 'Queen of the Desert'.
But I think it all began back in the 4th century when an abbess from
Spain went to what she called 'right to the other end of the earth'
– it was in fact to Jerusalem – it was, as Lesley said, on a
pilgrimage. But, erm, once she was there she became the most
enthusiastic tourist: she took an excellent guidebook with her, er,
which was the Bible, and she engaged a rather enterprising tour
guide, who took her round some of the famous places mentioned there.
She did all the usual things that a tourist would do even now.
And Lesley, how did package travel take off after this
Loughborough experience? – which I suppose wasn't really a package
holiday, although it was the first charter ...
Mmm, the first charter, yes. Well, in fact Thomas Cook organised
excursions after that. He took tourists to Scotland, he took them to
the seaside resorts, and he had this belief that the earth was there
for people to enjoy. And he really believed that. So the working man
could go, if he paid money into the working club, and he took wife
and children and all the rest of it.
But it wasn't until about 1855 that we have a
record, when Mathilda Lincoln went on a trip to Germany and France
and Belgium and then - she went with her brother and two sisters -
and she records in her diary that, er, many of her friends thought
it was far too adventurous to go to countries that were not under
the British flag. But she said that 'we could venture anywhere with
such a guide and guardian as Mr Cook, for there was not one of our
party who did not feel perfectly safe when under his care.'
And from that time on, package tours began to
take off. There weren't, er, many of them and it must have taken,
well, quite brave women to go, I think - I think most of them were
waiting to get married - but they went, sometimes with relatives,
and gradually they began to travel more and more until eventually
most of the package trips of the late 19th century were women, in
fact travelling by themselves.
Thomas Cook respected women travellers
actually, for their courage and determination. For example, in the
1890s, with the, the great cycling craze, he actually promoted
cycling trips for women, single women. As long as they took a friend
with them they could go off to Europe cycling, which, was er, pretty
daring when actually you couldn't go shopping by yourself, you had
to go shopping in London with a companion in those days.
There were also independent women travellers at this time,
weren't there, Wendy – apart from the packages, I mean?
Mm, yes. Lesley was saying a lot of Cook's
tourists were ladies who were waiting to get married. But a lot of
the independent travellers were women who had decided that probably
they were too old to get married. They were the unmarried daughters
who had done their domestic duty and when their parents died, they
had perhaps received some money and they had little else to do at
home, so why not go abroad? And that's what they did, in great
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