The Travels of Pieter Albert Bik

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The unpublished writings of a Dutch colonial official, Pieter Albert Bik (1798-1855) are studied and contextualized in this book. The remarkable autobiographical manuscript of Bik, which is here presented in English translation with annotations, provides a unique glimpse of the wide horizons of the world of Dutch colonialism, tracing his many journeys in Europe, the Dutch East Indies and Japan as well as across the oceans in the first half of the nineteenth century.
In this work, Mikko Toivanen draws a parallel between Bik's colonial travels and the contemporary emergence of a new kind of travel within Europe, showing that the culture of colonial travel was intimately connected with notions of leisure and tourism being developed back home at the time.

Mikko Toivanen is a historian of the cultures of nineteenth-century colonialism, currently at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

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