The sexual motives of travel are rarely spelled out. Travel books, social histories, guides and brochures favour a more wholesome image of tourist pursuits. But in the shadows there is an alternative history of tourism made up of precisely the details that usually go unmentioned. It is this history that Sultry Climates sets out to explore.
Among the many travellers discussed here are eighteenth-century Grand Tourists, rebels from the Romantic era, Victorian pilgrims to the Mediterranean, American expatriates of the 1920s, early sun-worshippers and post-war package tourists.
What emerges from their stories is a continuing thread of erotic experience, for the most part neglected or ignored by cultural historians, that has been central to the meaning of travel for women as well as men, gay people as well as straight.
‘Ian Littlewood has long since proved himself a discerning, perceptive and wonderfully well-read guide to intellectual and cultural landscapes… There are many good things in this very good book.’
‘Ian Littlewood’s book… is deliciously racy, provocative and quick-witted, stuffed with louche anecdotes and exotic quotes.’
The Sunday Times
‘A marvellously taut book… Littlewood groups his characters carefully… and pays scrupulous attention to the changing historical context.’