The Tourist's Illustrated Hand-Book for Ireland.
Seller ID: 1146
London: David Bryce, 1854. Third edition (adverts, 224 pp., adverts) with six maps and sixty-six b&w engravings from drawings by Mahony, Crowquill, Jones, and Lover. Octavo, in 'pea-green' cloth, gilt titles and decoration. Published for the tourist trade by the railway companies 'parties to the Irish tourist ticket system'. The two hundred or so pages of text describe railway tours through various parts of Ireland (e.g., Dublin to Galway) with maps and illustrations, mostly full-page but some cuts, of the sights along the way (Goldsmith's birthplace). The text, maps, and illustrations are sandwiched between two large sections of advertising, about fifty pages each. The detailed adverts reflect the particulars of everyday middle-class life at mid-century: earnest improvement books (Poetry and Poets, with the Story of the Poet Lover), remedies for medical complaints (Butler's Taraxacum and Tasteless Seidlitz Powder; the Moc-Main Lever Truss by Royal Letters Patent- illustrated), life insurance policies against 'Death by Railways' (40s buys 100L's insurance), and Cording's wading boots and waterproofs, yachting jackets and sou'-westers ('Comforts for Campaigning'). Notably, this edition includes a section of advertising addressed to those considering emigration to North America, Canada especially: Hand-Book to Canada and the United States with Descent of the Niagara and the St. Lawrence (price, one shilling); a large fold-out map of Upper and Lower Canada and the northeastern States and on the verso summaries of various Parliamentary papers on emigration-- reports from Lord Elgin, the Canadian Governor-General, and assorted Lt. Governors-General from the provinces. This last advertising seems oddly placed. Presumably people seeking advice on emigration were less likely to be those riding the train than those who could be seen huddled in villages and huts along the route, victims of the potato famine. The title page mentions that in Fortnight in Ireland Sir Francis Bond Head refers to a 'pea-green book' ('The house was overflowing with English Tourists, each carrying in his or her right hand a Pea-Green Hand-Book.') and this is it. Our copy is a survivor of a rough crossing or an indifferent reception, or perhaps both. The green cover is faded on the spine, gilt titles and decorations barely discernible; the covers retain their special (Kelly, not 'pea') green but are rubbed; the binding is a bit loose but holding; the folding maps have sometime in the past hundred years been mis-folded and several have been torn (in at least one case with small loss, but have been for the most part neatly repaired); p. 97 has a faded ink scribble and the rear hinge has been re-inforced with archival tape. Nevertheless, a complete work which documents early railway tourist travel in Ireland and gives an insight into middle-class life at mid-century. An earlier traveler has noted in pencil 'Good' against the notice published for the Imperial Hotel, Cork, whose 'omnibuses attend the arrival and departure of every train' and where 'hot, cold, and shower baths [are] always ready'.
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