In the 19th century, few people could afford to travel abroad; it was expensive and there weren't the massive transport systems that we have today. So curiosity about foreign lands had to be satisfied through books and drawings. With the advent of photography, a whole new version of "reality" became available. Publishers were not slow to realize that here was a large new market of people eager for travel photography and they soon had photographers out shooting the best known European cities, as well as more exotic places further afield. People bought the pictures by the millions, and magic lantern shows were presented in schools and leisure halls. Most popular of all, however, was the stereoscopic picture which pretended three-dimensional views and was considered a marvel of Victorian technology.
massive(mass) ; version(dimension) ; eager(hungry) ; afield(away) ; leisure(lecture) ; pretended(presented)