Wednesday 12 January 2011

Guide Books, Queries – Publishers and Authors: Mariana Starke, Baedeker, Murray, Ward & Lock, Wainwright ... late 1700s to mid 1900s

Life does take us on ‘funny’ travels ... I have just come back from Cornwall with a car load from my mother’s flat – mostly books = that’s me now-a-days! I extracted three books from the melee, and will definitely post about the other two later on ... the third I knew would amuse my mother ... Ward, Lock and Co’s “Red Illustrated Guide Book” to St Ives, Carbis Bay and Western Cornwall – our part of the world.

I did start reading some of the ‘stories’ which she enjoyed – more of that anon. But as I started to write this post – I wondered about Ward and Lock, and then other travel writers (having Talli and Betsy in our midst) ... and how tour guides came about. Fortunately Wikipedia links them and, of course, provides other fascinating titbits of information ...

Buxton in the Derbyshire Dales

Did you know that the idea of guide books dates back to the mid-7th to mid-13th century AD, when Arabic scholars of all trades contributed to recording and preserving earlier traditions, as well as adding inventions and innovations of their own, which then became best sellers in the medieval Arab world?

Though who would have thought that a woman would be the first to write a travel guide back in the late 1700s? Mariana Starke (1761 – 1838) was born in India, but on returning to England travelled out to Italy to nurse an ageing relative and it was during this time she realised the need for a travel guide or two.

For all of you authors sending out your ‘Queries’ .. Mariana Starke suffered the same fate – “she also wrote plays and poetry early in her career, but was discouraged by harsh reviews”; before she changed tack and realised the need for a different form of travel guide, than the architectural and scenic descriptive ones presently in vogue by those taking the Grand Tour.

Her guides were frequently revised and were the first to focus on practical information rather than descriptions of the places to be visited; her guide to travel in France and Italy served as an essential companion for British travellers to the continent in the early 1800s. She also devised a system of !!! exclamation mark ratings – a forerunner of today’s “stars”. She had established the genre and the template for future guides.

The French author Stendhal in ‘La Chartreuse de Parme’ refers to a travelling British historian who: “never paid for the smallest trifle without first looking up its price in the Travels of a certain Mrs Starke, a book which ... indicates to the prudent Englishman the cost of a turkey, an apple, a glass of milk and so forth”.

The French writer Marie-Henri Behle (1783 - 1842) better known by his pen name 'Stendhal'.

The genre was further developed by Karl Baedeker in Germany (1835) and Starke’s English publisher, John Murray III (1836). These two organisations produced impersonal, objective guides – rather than the factual information and personal sentimental reflections of previous works.

The London publishing house of Murray’s grandfather, John Murray I, (sounds more American than Scottish .. with the I, II and III) was renowned for its roster of authors ... including Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin to name a few.

William Wetmore Story (1819 – 1895) was an American sculptor, art critic, poet and editor, who lived in Rome from 1850 and was intimate with the Brownings and with Walter Savage Landor, whose critical acclaim as a writer and poet was not matched by public popularity.
Story said in the 1860s “Every Englishman abroad carries a Murray for information, and a Byron for sentiment, and finds out by them what he is to know and feel by every step”.

Baedekers crop up in E M Forster’s “A Room with a View”, D H Lawrence’s travelogue “Sea and Sardinia”, which includes references to the Baedeker guide he used when he travelled from Sicily to Sardinia and back, as do many others ...

First edition cover for Lawrence's "Sea and Sardinia"

Messrs Ward and Lock started their publishing concern in 1854, and in the 1880s purchased Shaw’s widely-known and well-established series of tourist guides – the precursor to the named Red Guides, known as the “Illustrated Guide Books”.

Baedekers’ English Guides eventually became the Blue Guides, after the Muirhead brothers, who had been responsible for the English versions, acquired the rights to John Murray’s Handbooks in 1918.

Other famous publications under Ward and Lock were The Fair Britain Series, Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Books, Mrs Beeton’s Household Management, Six Shilling Copyright Novels, Gardening Books, Wonder Books for Children.

They also published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Nigel Tranter’s early novels and his westerns published under the pseudonym ‘Nye Tredgold’; the adventures of Simon Templar, alias “The Saint”, by the mystery fiction writer Leslie Charteris amongst others.

The Saint Character

Now we’re into the time after World War Two when travel became much more ubiquitous and many different guides started appearing – and I’m sure we all have our favourites. Probably worth mentioning here within the genre of my post are the Wainwright Guides – Alfred Wainwright’s seven volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, along with his walking guides have become standard reference works.

Persistency is one of the traits for an author – n’est pas? – Wainwright (1907 – 1991) exhibits this feature ... as he planned the precise scope and content of the seven volumes from the start, and worked conscientiously and meticulously on the series for the next 13 years at an average rate of one page per evening! (The wright part of his name fits perfectly .... “wright” in its archaic form means a worker or maker, while “wain” means a large wagon for farm use ...).

Book One of Wainwright's Pictorial Guide

These Guides are much prized today – as they show us how our country has changed, giving us an inkling of times gone by – but which are ideal for ‘fireside’ discussions where the memory still covers that era, or research purposes.

I leave you with a few paragraphs from Ward Lock & Co’s site, which I found interesting .. and again gives a glimpse of our past:

According to the book Adventure in Publishing, The House Of Ward Lock, 1854 to 1954, by Edward Liveing, Ward and Lock "noted the public’s growing tendency to explore the British Isles. The ubiquity of the railway lines had played its part in the growth of the travel at holiday times and the increasingly popular “weekend”.

At Easter, Cornwall was the resort of the well-to-do; in August of working class folk. The Lake District was thronged with families in the summer who climbed its fells without any of the fears that prevented their ancestors from doing so a century earlier.

Women took to walking after the passing of crinolines. Also, like their men-folk, they had taken to bicycling when the two low-wheel of machine supplanted the perilous “penny-farthing”. The tandem, too, came into fashion and added its touch of romantic adventure to this form of self-propelled travel."

"All this growing zest for travel required catering for in more ways than in the provision of food and lodging. And so it came about that in 1896 Ward Lock and Bowden Ltd. Introduced their series of 72 Guide Books to the British Isles.

The early “guides” were issued in green paper boards – not as we know them today in their familiar red cloth covers – and were priced at a shilling. Gradually a great series was worked up until, as today, every holiday district and seaside resort of consequence was covered by its own particular Guide.

A special staff of qualified editors and correspondents continually toured the land, compiling and revising material on all places and matters of interest to the holidaymaker and on such subjects as the local history, geology, botany and zoology of the areas concerned."
Illustration of Wordsworth's Grave 1895 (see Runela site)
This summary by Edward Liveing seemed to me to say so much and remind us of things we so easily forget.

Dear Mr Postman .. my mother was really ‘with it’ and awake when we talked about St Ives and Carbis Bay, so I’m pleased I found her book and can now read to her from it. She is pleased ‘her Janice’ is back from her visits to Brazil, Australia and California; however it’s good to have Susie and Andy as back-ups ...they all work together at the Natural Fitness Centre – so suit us well!

She asks about the blog and I think would be amazed to know this is the end of its 2nd year ... and the 291st post ... so I look forward to another blogging year – perhaps more settled and a little more organised ....

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Talli Roland said...

Thank you for the mention!

Fascinating stuff about the origin of guidebooks. I just told Mr TR about it, and he sat there looking all smug. As if he needed another example of something originating in the Arab world! :)

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh this is so rich! Just what the doctor ordered, Hilary. Thank you for sharing these tidbits of travel info.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli - pleasure .. you're the travel writer that I know ..

Isn't it .. I was bemused as I wandered around looking at various people and publishers .. so many links.

Oh of course .. how could I forget .. Mr TR - the brains amongst us!! Isn't it fun that you could bring him in to join us?! Delighted he sat there all smug .. good to know

Welcome back to a damp old UK .. but as you mention - it's good to be back and to have you back .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. delighted that you enjoyed it .. what a wonderful phrase "Oh this is so rich" .. yeah I could say that a few times!!

Tidbits v titbits .. interesting how it appears the Americans have made life difficult using the 'd' ..

Anyhow .. glad to see you here and it passed muster!! Cheers Hilary

Joanne said...

What a rich, historical resource these guide books must be. They give such a glimpse into the terrain and society as well. And the images are beautiful too.

And congrats on a 2nd year of blogging, it's quite a journey, isn't it? Looking forward to seeing where your 3rd blogging year takes you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. I know .. I'm looking forward to reading more of the Ward Lock's St Ives book (1934) and the other one I've got on Newquay and north Cornwall is dated 1922.

Thanks - I know two years on .. is quite a surprise! But a wonderful journey ..

The Portuguese commenter I've acquired .. has amazed the Portuguese care worker?! Theresa-Maria said .. 'you'll have to learn some Portuguese' ..

So we live and learn by blogging in ways we really can't quite comprehend! It's fun though ..

Good to see you and thanks for your thoughts .. 3rd year coming up! Cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Such interesting stuff, as always! You've educated me today. :)

Congrats on your blog milestones, that's something to be proud of. Keep up the good work!

Have a lovely rest of the week,


This was a pure joy to read, alot of English history in writing and books, Most of them of course I knew of being English, many things you wrote of were unknown to me.
Thanks for sharing.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. educated me too! Glad you enjoyed it .. and

thank you re the blog milestones .. it's keeping going isn't it?

Thanks - I will have a good quiet week I expect .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. thank you so much .. there was an awful lot more than I expected .. and I left some out!

We often know some of the information but there's always so much more .. and the linkages always interest me ..

Just glad you enjoyed it .. great to see you here .. Hilary

Deborah Ann said...

So, it all began with a woman, eh? Personally, I would LOVE to write travel guides. And even more, I would love to travel for a living!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Oh the history you have read and share. I love it. Your post is always delightful and informing. Love it.

Congratulations on your second year of blogging. I feel priviledged to know you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Debby .. well it appears so .. and she waited til the Napoleonic Wars were over before she went back to Italy to commence her guides.

The travel writers certainly seem to have fun going to different parts of the world, seeing new places, trying new foods and seeing how the half live. Perhaps you should give it a go?

Happy dreams .. and good luck with your book .. have a great year .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. so good to see you .. and thank you - it's great to know the articles I put out are enjoyed, yet inform.

Year three starts today - seems amazing .. and your comment means so much to me .. I'm just so lucky to be here amongst so many wonderful people.

Have a great rest of the week .. cheers Hilary

Dot said...

Another fascinating story (or stories).

I hope you're having a great birthday and that you have a wonderful year! Thanks for all your cheerful posts and comments, too.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Fascinating stuff, Hilary. Thanks for sharing. I long to be able to travel Europe, Russia, anywhere hot.

Jannie Funster said...

Persistence, indeed, in all endeavors. Never give up. Writers and dreamers alike!

a Natural Fitness Center sounds good. Or any kind that gets us moving and happy.

And don't get too organized with blogging or we'll all fall behind you. :) happy days.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dot .. good to see you .. yes: usually more than one piece of information tucked away in each post!

Thank you - had to go to Cornwall to finish clearing out my mother's flat - so not such a happy time - but another chapter of life begins!

Delighted my cheerfulness gives you enjoyment .. the blog and friends are good for me!

Here's to a happy comfortable year for us both .. look after yourself .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. thanks so much - sorry been away .. hence lateness in replying back. Delighted that you enjoyed it ..

Joylene .. didn't they tell you - it's not that hot over here?! But we'd love to see you for a visit and if you go to Russia .. I'll come with you?! Actually if you go anywhere hot .. I'll come with you!

The thought is wonderful .. but how can you drag yourself away from your lake .. the name totally amuses me "Cluculz Lake" .. love it .. !!

Thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. great to see you .. and you noticed the 'never giving up' writers, singers and dreamers alike: how true that is.

Yes - these wonderful people help a great deal .. and keep me buoyed up - which is necessary at times, so I'm lucky there.

I sincerely I hope I do .. don't like messes and I need to get back to the way I woz .. all those many years ago! My new year starts now ..

As you say Happy Days .. are you at your festival yet? It must have been this past week?

Cheers from a windy, wet England .. at least it's warmer .. Hilree xoxoxx

J.D. Meier said...


I'm a fan of guides. At work, I've shipped guides for years. In fact, I shipped the first "blue book" at Microsoft. On my team, we basically share principles, patterns, and practices in the form of "prescriptive guidance." So guides are among my favorite ways to share expertise.

> he idea of guide books dates back to the mid-7th to mid-13th century AD

Chase March said...

My favourite guide book is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

I found it quite interesting to see that a woman started the tradition of the travel guide.

That's a tidbit worth saving for International Women's Day later this year, which marks the 100th celebration of this annual event.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Hilary...I'm totally distracted today. All I can think of is that OMGoodness your Mum lived in Cornwall...I've been there. I'm homesick. Which is really silly since I haven't lived in England for soooo many years. I hope to come over in August. I miss my Grandparents so much. My Dad came over in November, but my Nanny can't travel anymore.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. Thank you.

I know you're the 'Blue Book' man .. Microsoft know a good man when they find one & you so obviously enjoy your work, and are brilliant at sharing that expertise.

I'd come across a cookery-travel book back in the Medieval era .. and was amazed to find they'd travelled that far in the Mediterranean and recorded that sort of information - silly really .. as it must be a logical development .. as people had been keeping records for aeons.

Knowledge in the form of travel, and new forms of food were necessary to keep each era (Empire) moving forward and ahead of other possible emergence rulers.

Wonderful you enjoyed it .. thanks for coming over .. have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. The Hitchhiker's Guide is something I've never looked at - and I obviously need to .. I see the phenomenon started when I left for South Africa .. and that's another thing I missed out being in another continent.

Thanks for the thought re International Women's Day - I did do something last year .. but must obviously start thinking for this coming year - March 8th. - especially as it will be celebrating 100 years.

Great thought Chase .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. yes - Mum's paternal family came from St Ives .. and as kids we went down every year .. and have almost done so ever since: so it's a very sad day for me at the moment - to lose those roots.

Mum lived there for the last 40 years or so .. and had her business there. Cornwall certainly draws one in .. I have many happy memories ..

Perhaps we can meet when you come over .. that would be fun. I think I remember last year you saying your father came over .. but grandparents and parents are so special - your Nanny will love seeing you when you get here.

Little England has its ties still .. this tiny spot of an island .. which includes so many emotional pulls of family and places with memories ..

Happy days ahead for you .. not that long to go? How wonderful your trip will be .. cheers Hilary

Short Poems said...

Thanks for sharing with us the history you have read. Love it

Congratulations on your second year of blogging.
Marinela :(

Yaya' s Home said...

I am lost in learning. Thank you very much. I LIVE to discover such bits of information. How did you know? Of course, now I'm gonna' hafta' think of some way to put summa' your treasured tidbits or titbits; whichever you prefer, into a story. They are all too interesting to keep from sharing around.

~ Yaya

Anonymous said...

Another most interesting post about the historical and cultural background about something we take for granted. I can see how travelers would have the need for accurate written guides.

When I was younger I would use AAA to give me information and maps about an upcoming vacation or itenerary.

Now I use Google and read reviews from toruists who stayed at particular hotels and ate at restaurants. Its these reviews that I think give the best insight for planing a trip.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Marinela .. great to see you here .. yes third year coming up .. and so pleased you liked the history snippets .. hugs and cheers .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yaya .. great to see you back safely .. and that you too like the sort of treasures I found in my delve around the guidebooks ..

.. and delighted to hear you'll put them into some form of story .. that's wonderful to hear ..

Happy sharing .. and enjoy being home again .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. thank you - I'm sure any extra information would have served travellers well in those days.

Yes - we too used to use the AA Guides here, or the Shell Guides .. but they are the branded versions that came next ..

Now we can get word of mouth and instant reviews .. it does make life easier and then leaves more time for looking around and seeing interesting sites or museums etc ..

Thanks for coming by - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Patricia Stoltey said...

The story of guidebooks is pretty interesting, something I would never have considered looking up. I'll have to see if I can track down some old guides to Colorado.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. that's me! Always checking things out .. let me know if you find any of those Colorado guides .. it will be interesting to find out more.

Delighted to see you - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

You post the most provocative information!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. The world does indeed seem "wobbly" as you pointed out. And a pleasant weekend to you, too!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. thank you so much .. just bits of 'life' that interests me ..

The world is certainly wobbly! Your snow pictures were fun .. and the links .. similar thoughts to my way of life!

Hope all's well your end .. and you have a good weekend with Jen .. with thoughts .. Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

Fabulous history lesson. And aren't we women happy about the passing of crinolines! I know I am.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. thank you - the history just sprang out of the pages .. and yes I certainly am sure glad we're not in crinolines and all those restrictive garments!

Thanks for the visit .. lovely seeing you .. Hilary

Will Burke said...

Great post, and you were lucky to put your hands on one! I can see how they would add dimension to w writer's story, with the details that would provide a much-needed texture.
I always thought that the Roman Numerals at the end of a name (John Murrey I) was an English habit; was it not common among the Aristocracy?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Will .. thank you - and the Guides would add as you say extra texture and ideas to a story. Yes - I found one here .. the Newquay and north Cornwall Guide, and then my mother had the most westerly one to Lands End at her flat - so she'll enjoy me reading this to her.

Do you know - I'd always thought they were an American idea .. but this answer though a bit garbled gives a bit more information - how definitive I've no idea:

It appears you're right & it did start way back in establishing lineages etc ..I'd just never put it down to the good old European aristocrats. But I suppose that's logical as the Kings and Queens are numerically separated!

My uncle who would definitely have known the answer .. has sadly died - but I'll keep the question in mind and perhaps at some stage I'll find someone who will know!

Great comment - thanks for the visit .. cheers Hilary

Arts web show said...

I didn't know there was such a fascinating history to something so simple as a guidebook.
Thanks for opening my eyes

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. thanks for coming by .. I know - when I go back and look at how things started .. it always amazes me how interesting life has been.

Just very glad you enjoyed the post .. cheers Hilary

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Hilary,

What a fascinating post. I got a chuckle out of how it was a woman's guide which become so popular. Even then, women were using the written word as a means to be heard.

I like the story you shared of your mum. It sounds like she's doing well and is enjoying you reading a familiar book to her.

((Hug)) to the two of you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Barbara .. good graveyard shift reading, obviously! Lovely seeing you here .. just so pleased everyone is as interested as I was when I backtracked the Guide Books and their start in life.

Thanks too re my Mum .. when she comes too and feels like it - she loves interacting with different things ... can't do too much - but tales of Cornwall are always a good thing to mention and chat about.

Thanks for the Hugs .. we appreciate them .. cheers Hilary

walk2write said...

Your blog's premise was enough to draw me into reading a bit, but with this excellent post about travel books, well now I'm hooked!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Walk2Write .. excellent to see you here .. I feel like your blog is home from home .. so glad we've linked up.

Also just hope you enjoy the upcoming posts as much as this one! Eclectic choices 'a la moi'!

Enjoy the week .. Hilary

vered said...

I'm reading this fascinating post, and I'm thinking, how I would love to spend a day in the 1700s!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. you're very brave I think! But the scenery would be pristine - not sure about life. Interesting if we could transport ourselves back then ..

We've had some BBC programmes where they've taken us back & shown us life in those days .. pretty hard work, but then that's what life was - leisure wasn't known. Every day was filled .. lots to do.

Thanks for the visit - interesting thought! .. Cheers Hilary

Kathryn Magendie said...

This is where books and the internet converge - to find and then share interesting "titbits" (laughing) :-D

Interesting post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kathryn .. good point .. the mix of the two - thank goodness some of it is to be found in Wikipedia ..

titbits v tidbits .. I was surprised both existed and were 'live' as such. I know it's "dangerous" to write about titbits .. but there we go - anything for a laugh.

Really pleased you enjoyed it & good to see you - Hilary

Mandy Allen said...

Oh The Saint, that brings back memories! One of my favourite programmes as a youngster.

Tour guides, what a fascinating subject, you do come up with them! There's a great site called that is a great resource for travellers on motorways, listing things that are 5 minutes from any junction. Brilliant if you want to stop somewhere more interesting than the service station en route. Another great post, Hilary, and good to hear mum is well.

Enjoy the journey.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mandy .. couldn't resist putting the Saint in .. yes I agree - complete escapism .. with perhaps a touch of Roger Moore thrown in?!

So pleased you approve! Once I started delving .. it was so interesting and lots of great cross topics .. which one doesn't think of via tour guides - Jane Austen, Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll etc ..

That site sounds a great resource .. especially for those of us travelling distances - though I do like to get to the other end!

Thanks Mandy appreciate the comment and at Davina's Shades of Crimson .. really kind of you.

Yes - Mum is ticking along .. keeping us in order! Cheers Hilary

Patricia said...

Another awesome post and I just kept looking it over several times and have now copied the address and sent it on to my friend Jeff who last year went to Ethiopia for a month and today is in Uruguay next week Brazil for a month of travel and discovery.

It was so fun when I found something my mum was interested in - I remember I found an historic novel about UK that she just loved each chapter, which took us about a week for each but we both became very involved in the story...made me think about travel.

I think Talli wrote the Hating GAME? I am reviewing that book in one of my next posts - more fun

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. thanks .. and for passing the link across - he certainly is going to places to travel and discover .. interesting to hear about it.

We've never read books as such .. just the sort of bits and pieces I post about .. and even now it's short and sweet, but then I may do the next one, etc etc .. and the extras as here - obviously stimulated lots of extra talk - so we were always off at tangents!

Talli did write the Hating Game - but she's also written two travel books - London in 24 hours and Paris in 24 hours I think ..

Great - look forward to the review .. cheers and thanks so much for your relevant comment .. have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hilary: Thanks for your wonderful comment on my latest post! It does sound like your mother as well as my daughter have indeed "worked things out." It is so inspirational to be a part of someone's life who has these kinds of struggles. It keeps me humble and grateful for all that I have. I think it's a special privilege to be able to help them!!

Have a wonderful week...Ann

Julie Musil said...

I always learn something new from your blog posts! Thanks for the fun information.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. so good to see you here & thanks - it is always lovely to connect and hear things that I quite often experience with my Mama .. and as you say they have 'worked things out'.

You're so right .. these situations teach us so much and bring us back to earth all the time - humbleness and being grateful for what we can do. I take so much away .. and can laugh about - while having that memory bank to help with others.

You too .. enjoy your week .. it's lovely and sunny here, benign and a glorious chilly winter's day .. dawn is still breaking! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. glad to see you .. and that you find the posts interesting .. and fun = that's an important element too! Thanks so much - enjoy today .. Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What an interesting history! I'd no idea the books dated back so far, nor that a woman wrote the first in modern history. (Well, modern being 1700s. :) ) Great info, Hilary, and thanks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Elizabeth - good to see you. I'm just always surprised at what I find .. especially with the links to some of our great writers.

Delighted you enjoyed it .. thank you - Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

What an interesting post, Hilary. Do you know I have never really thought of the history of travel books. Fascinating, thanks for sharing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. thank you - well nor had I till I looked further .. but it was so interesting and the fact that publishers weren't really niche ones at that stage .. they seemed to publish all sorts!

Delighted that you enjoyed it .. cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

We ask our own questions an offer our own answers as part of the journey. Thanks for inviting everyone to step back and savour wherever they are. Whether we travel in the physcial world, inside ourselves or elsewhere beyond words, it gets easier and easier to feel our way to better feeling destinations.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. travel opens doors and windows onto life - be it recent, be it ancient .. allowing us to explore, use our mind to travel to distant lands ...

As you guide us - let us step back to evaluate where we are .. and feel our way to those fulfilling destinations.

Definitely a thought we should ponder more often .. wonderful idea - thank you .. Hilary

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Congratulations on another year under your belt. You have such a knack of underscoring a matter of interest that is too often overlooked.

Jolly good for Mariana! I cannot imagine the frustration she would undergone as a woman writer in those times.

Many thanks for your meaty offering again today, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy - thank you .. yes another year under my belt. I just enjoy finding out about different things and then letting you know what I've found! Reminding both me and you that there's so much more to life - as you say we often forget.

I was amazed about Mariana .. so delighted to hear you enjoyed her story.

Lovely seeing you here and thanks so much for commenting .. Hilary