Road, rocks and rain: John Wesley’s ‘ travel writing’ about Cornwall

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Cornish Story in association with the Institute of Cornish Studies


Cornish Story Live presents

Road, rocks and rain: John Wesley’s ‘ travel writing’ about Cornwall

With Dr Peter Forsaith.

About The Talk

John Wesley, following his brother Charles, made the first of many visits to Cornwall in 1743, after initial evangelistic forays by some Methodist sailors from Bristol. Cornwall then was remote, isolated and wild: John Wesley wrote of crossing the ‘great pathless moor beyond Launceston’ and received a rough reception at St. Ives. However, he wrote descriptively and sympathetically about Cornwall and its people in his published Journal. At the end of his last visit, in August 1789, he commented, ‘…there is a fair prospect in Cornwall, from Launceston to the Land’s End.

In this talk Peter will look at John Wesley’s Journal not as religious narrative (as it was intended) but as travel writing – particularly about Cornwall – since Wesley described much of what he saw, and how it was changing in his lifetime.

About Our Speaker

Dr. Peter Forsaith F.R.Hist.S. is a historian of religion, culture and society in eighteenth-century England and is Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History at Oxford Brookes University. He has cared for Methodist-related art and archival collections, researched (among other areas) the interface between art and religion, particularly eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British art and Methodism and published Image, identity and John Wesley; a study in portraiture (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018).

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