By Nancy L. Stockdale
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Additional resources for Colonial Encounters Among English and Palestinian Women, 1800-1948
3 However, it was the historical absence of Protestantism in the Holy Land that inspired Anglican and dissenting English travelers to invent a new sort of pilgrimage in the nineteenth century that combined travel to the locations of the Bible with an attempt to reconcile the Word, the contemporary conditions of Palestine, their belief in the truth of their denomination, and the lack of religious authority it held there. The Protestant texts analyzed in this chapter reveal a new form of piety and ritual that emerged as the writers traveled through the Holy Land.
Jews, too, were portrayed often as offensive and homely. Take, for example, this excerpt from Elizabeth Butler, recounting her horror at the prospect of camping near the Jerusalem suburb of Yemin Moshe in the 1890s: To our horror we found the people in charge of the baggage had selected the only really hideous and repulsive spot in all Jerusalem, of all places, the Jewish extra-mural colony! There were our white tents pitched down in a hollow full of the back-door refuse from the houses of this unsavoury population, surrounded by youths and bedraggled women who might have just come out of Houndsditch to look on at the preparations of the camp.
Edith Buckmaster, Palestine and Pamela, 1925 Physical travel to and within Palestine dramatically changed in the period 1800–1948. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were no hotels, few reliable roads, and little in the way of consular protection for foreigners wishing to visit the Holy Land. For example, a letter dated 12 July 1813 from the infamous Lady Hester Stanhope (1776–1839) to Mary Rich illustrates the dearth of amenities for the traveler to Palestine. Asked about what a woman should bring on the journey, Stanhope recommended a pot de chambre.