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Elizabeth Butler's literary and artistic landscapes : Ireland, Egypt and the Holy Land

Wynne, Catherine


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Dr Catherine Wynne
Reader in Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century Literature and Visual Cultures and Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise, Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


Although best known as a military artist and praised by John Ruskin, Elizabeth Butler (1846–1933) also produced two illustrated books of travel writing, Letters from the Holy Land (1903) and From Sketch-Book and Diary (1909). This essay examines Butler's work in the context of imperial mobility, and explores her participation in discourses of empire. Examination of her travel narratives and selected paintings reveal a sophisticated engagement with the landscapes of empire and colony, shifting between her husband's military postings in Egypt in the 1880s and 1890s to their home in Ireland. Butler's travels in the West and the East produce exotic landscapes in painting and prose that evoke varied responses incorporating religious identifications, social sympathies, and orientalist inscriptions.


Wynne, C. (2009). Elizabeth Butler's literary and artistic landscapes : Ireland, Egypt and the Holy Land. Prose Studies, 31(2), 126-140.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2009
Publication Date 2009-08
Journal Prose Studies
Print ISSN 1743-9426
Electronic ISSN 1743-9426
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 126-140
Keywords Elizabeth Butler; Military painting; Travel; Ireland; Egypt; Holy Land; Empire; Colonialism
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