Romantic Cartographies

Principal investigator
Asko Nivala
Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher
Adjunct Professor of Cultural History
University of Turku


Don Juan's European Tour

Lord Byron's is a satirical epic poem based on Spanish myth. Don Juan is born in Seville but adventures in Constantinople, Russia and finally in England. As Katarina Gephardt has noted, Lord Byron's Don Juan participates in the construction of Europe by touring its boundaries:

"The imaginative itinerary of Byron’s Spanish traveler-protagonist traverses Europe’s peripheries, moving counter-clockwise from Spain, through Greece, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Holland, and ending in Britain in the final unfinished 'English cantos' of the poem. Italy, where Byron lived in exile while writing the poem, is not included in the itinerary, and thus functions as the unrepresented center, the pivotal point around which the poem revolves."1

  1. Katarina Gephardt, The Idea of Europe in British Travel Narratives, 1789–1914. Ashgate, Surray 2014, p. 82. 

(C) 2022 Asko Nivala