Driving Through Georgian Britain: the great coaching routes for the modern traveller
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- ISBN-10 : 1073884732
- Paperback : 208 pages
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.47 x 9 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-1073884735
- Publisher : Independently published (June 21, 2019)
- Item Weight : 13.3 ounces
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,915,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
It concentrates on the main coaching routes, the Great North road, the Bath road, the Dover road and the road to Brighton. Modern details are given, such as bus routes in cities and road details in the country. But after that you are whisked briskly back two hundred years with lots of wonderful detail and stories.
You’ll hear for example of the dastardly Jack ‘sixteen string’ Rann, who was hung for his attempt to rob the chaplain of a Princess. His nick-name comes from the amount of strings he had at his knee on his breeches, a fine social symbol in his day. Then there is the pub called ‘the swan with two necks,’ or the service run by Onesiphorous Tapp, of Marlborough. Allen creates wonderful atmosphere. Describing a scene at a coach stop she says it would have been ‘…a chaotic scene, of milling vehicles, shoving passengers, porters, gawping sightseers and pick-pockets.” Which I daresay is exactly right.
These characters would otherwise have left little mark on history, and part of the beauty of this book is its record of everyday people in everyday situations. For the most part they are neither important enough or notorious enough to have earned a place in the text books. Yet their lives can show us something we might otherwise miss, that they they are a similar range of characters with all their quirky details and attributes that we meet today, mostly jostling and striving to maintain their very existence just as we all do.
It would make a lovely coffee table book with photos, but I know one thing. I’ll be giving a copy of this to my friends with a vintage map of their area next time I need inspiration and want something more original than the usual high street offerings. I’ll tie it up with vintage string and ordinary brown paper and maybe if I really want to splash out, maybe a flask for a warming cuppa too.