Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant, Travel and the Making of Enlightenment Knowledge

A conference exploring the many legacies of the C18th naturalist and travel writer Thomas Pennant (1726-98) at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, Friday 16 November 2018

With a separate evening event at Dr Johnson’s House, Gough Square, Thursday 15 November, details below.

Organized by the AHRC-funded ‘Curious Travellers’ project in conjunction with the Linnean Society.

For more information SEE HERE.

10.00: Coffee and arrivals  

10.15: Welcome from Isabelle Charmantier (Linnean Society) and Mary-Ann Constantine and Nigel Leask (Curious Travellers Project)  

10.30-12.30 Session One
Short presentations and launch of online edited texts by project members:
  • Luca Guariento, ‘Curious Travellers and Curious Editors: XML and 0ther scary things behind the curtain.’  
  • Alex Deans, ‘Dialogue and encounter: introducing the Curious Travellers Scottish editions’  
  • Ffion Mair Jones, 'This delicious frenzy...': The Correspondence of Thomas Pennant and Richard Bull, 1773–1798.  
  • Elizabeth Edwards, ‘‘Bag men, Itinerant Artists and sorts of fleeting customers”: voice and narrative in manuscript Welsh tours.’  

12.30-1.30 Lunch and a chance to see the exhibition of natural history books by Pennant and his contemporaries  

1.30-3.00 Session Two
  • [Short presentation]: Kirsty McHugh, ‘Anne Lister’s Tours of Wales and Scotland’.  
  • Miranda Lewis, ‘Mapping Lines of Communication: Thomas Pennant in Early Modern Letters Online’  
  • Edwin Rose, 'From Specimen to Print: Thomas Pennant's British Zoology, 1766-1812'  
  • Dòmhnaill Uilleam Stiùbhart, ‘Rev. John Stuart of Luss: pioneer lichenologist, Biblical translator, 'pedantic coxcomb'’  

3.15-3.30 Tea-break

3.30–5:00 Session Three
  • [Short presentation:] Professor Debarati Bandyopadhyay (Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, India), ‘Thomas Pennant and Ecocriticism’.  
  • John Bonehill, 'Scotland's portraiture: the illustration of Pennant's Tours'  
  • Carl Thompson, ‘Women travellers and their (many) contributions to late 18th and early 19th science’  
  • Concluding remarks: Nigel Leask and Mary-Ann Constantine  

Registration: £25 waged with buffet lunch (£20 without lunch); £15 (£10) unwaged. For more information contact (01970 636543) or visit

Register here  (01970 636543)

Dr Isabelle Charmantier
Head of Collections
The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7434 4479 EXT 223 | | Charity Reference No. 220509

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Thursday 15 November

Note that on the evening before the conference (15th November) there will be a separate ticketed event at Dr Johnson’s House, Gough Square, when Professor Murray Pittock and Professor Nigel Leask will give talks on the Scottish Tours of Dr Johnson and Thomas Pennant. This accompanies our current exhibition “Curious Travellers”: Dr Johnson and Thomas Pennant on Tour, at Dr Johnson’s House, 5 Oct- 12 Jan 2018.