I couldn’t resist scanning a few more pages from the advertisement portion at the back of Black’s Picturesque Guide to Scotland. After all the lists of hotels there are adverts for other items of interest to brave travellers of the time.
For example here is an advert for the latest fashionable outdoor clothing, suitably rubberised:
And here are two adverts for tonics for many of the ills that might befall a traveller:
And, finally, what traveller would be complete without suitable luggage to carry all their belongings and purchases in:
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Posted in urban history, tagged angus, edinburgh, guide books, guidebooks, historical research, melrose, scottish borders, tourism history, towns, travel guides, travel history, urban history, urbanisation on January 11, 2013|
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A TV series which I’ve enjoyed in recent years is Paul Murton’s Grand Tours of Scotland using an old 19th century guidebook as his guide. I bought a copy of the same guidebook, Black’s Picturesque Guide to Scotland, in my case the 1892 edition, and have been enjoying reading it. It has useful descriptions – often illustrated – of the main tourist destinations, as well as information on lesser-known attractions.
Although it’s hardly the main focus of the book I particularly like the series of advertisements at the back, many from Scotland, but some from other parts of the UK and Ireland too. These include adverts from hotels touting for guests. The one that really made me grin was the thought of buses transporting people from the railway station at Melrose to the George & Abbotsford Hotel. It’s only about 2 minutes walk round the corner! But I guess if you were a high-falutin guest you would not want to walk and get your shoes and clothes – especially skirts for ladies – dirty or wet.
I used travel guides and similar books quite a bit during my year working as a Research Assistant looking at towns in Angus in the late 18th and early 19th century. Such books were a very useful insight into how the different towns were perceived by outsiders at this time. In a similar way I used travel guides in my postgraduate Masters degree in Cultural and Urban History, using them for an essay looking at urbanisation in the Borders, and specifically whether individual places were regarded at the time as towns (with all the appropriate trappings and facilities) or were the lesser-regarded villages.
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