Thomas Cook, Women Travellers, and the Gender Dynamics of Leisure, c.1855-1903
My research examines female participation in Thomas Cook’s early excursions. Beginning with Cook’s first European tour in 1855 a significant number of his customers were women. While excursion offered women the opportunity to travel abroad, their experiences were regulated in order to maintain the reputation of Cook’s namesake company. My project examines the first-hand accounts of women that travelled with Cook to better understand the gender dynamics of his tours and the accessibility of leisure in the nineteenth century. I am also interested in how women financed their excursions and whether their personal finances were representative of wider working- and middle-class society.
I previously completed an MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge with a dissertation entitled The Anglo-Indian Traveller and Her Relation to Empire and a BA in French Studies at the University of San Francisco.