Special Collections Exhibitions
Enlarging the prospects of happiness
  Great cities of Italy
  Pompeii & Vesuvius
  Philosophy of travel
  The picturesque
  England & Scotland
  Ireland & Wales
  Women travellers
  North & South America
  Travel publishers
  Twentieth-century travel writing
  Check lists
As the delights of Europe wore thin and as greater numbers of people began to be able to afford to travel, demand for domestic travel guides rose. The Napoleonic wars also did their part to discourage continental travel, while improved roads, albeit toll roads, dramatically increased the speed of travel within Britain. A journey from London to Edinburgh that took four days at the beginning of the eighteenth century required only 30 hours by the end of the century. And although the Act of Union of 1707 had united England and Scotland and Wales, the north and west were still distinctive destinations worthy of exploration even by such a cosmopolitan figure as Samuel Johnson.

A tour through the northern counties

Arranged as an itinerary with maps noting each town en route, Warner's book is intended to accompany a traveller who seeks to repeat the same tour. Warner provides detailed accounts of the furnishings, paintings and tombs of noteworthy country houses along the way (in this case Harewood House near Leeds, built in 1760), but has less patience for ancient ruins. His idealised image of Yorkshire weavers evokes a truism about superior country virtue that in turn justified travel to remoter parts of Britain.
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A family tour through the British Empire

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the words 'tourist' and 'tourism' enter the English language: travel had become a commodity. Wakefield's very popular volume, originally published anonymously in 1804, combines the didactic interests of a writer for children with the historical and practical knowledge more typical of travel accounts. Mrs. Middleton's imperious tone and imperial aims concisely express the educational value of domestic tourism.

Priscilla Wakefield also enjoys a local connection as the grandmother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, head of the NZ Company, of whom she wrote on 5 February 1799, 'my mind painfully engaged in the perverseness of dear little Edward—his obstinacy if he inclines to evil terrifies me'. Like young Arthur in this book, Edward clearly possessed a rambling spirit that his grandmother failed to tame.
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Cary's Traveller's companion

This small volume provides the practical details needed to navigate the new road systems. Cary's maps, with the colour-coded distinctions among roads, beautifully conveys the intricate networks of communication that increasingly encouraged local travel. Turquoise lines indicate the routes of the mail coaches.
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