Tourism – a product of the Victorian era, hugely developed through Edwardian times – generated thousands of fascinating books and photographs which together define the development of the massive industry which we know today.
This book explores Victorian and Edwardian Britain through the guidebooks which were published between 1850 and 1910, and the images which tourists bought and collected. The introduction of statutory holidays, the increasing wealth of the Victorian middle classes, and the expanding railway and steamship networks, all helped develop the emerging tourist industry – and, of course, the invention of photography at around the same time led to the widespread craze for collecting photographs of places visited.
Pre-eminent in the evolution of tourism for the masses was Thomas Cook, whose package holidays were not the first, but whose prices expanded the market hugely. The package tour increased demand for descriptive texts, and early guidebooks by Sylvan, A. & C. Black and others, and later Baedeker, give us a rich source of contemporary accounts.
The early years of the 20th century saw the emergence of the photographic postcard and, for wealthier travellers at least, the Edwardian years were marked by the increasing popularity of amateur travel photography.
All these themes and developments are explored, and the combination of contemporary accounts and images make this a highly engaging book.