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"If you're stuck for something to read on your next train journey you'd have to go a long way to find a more diverting way to pass the time." (Scotsman)
"Moments of beautifully clear-eyed observation... [and] superb, darkly comic little drawings." (Andrew Martin Spectator)
"Personal and quirky, accompanied by brilliant pen drawings of the characters and landscapes encountered, these diaries give us an authentic voice from the past and take us on a journey back in time to a country at once so familiar, yet at the same time so distant ... a fascinating slice of Victorian life." (Scotland on Sunday)
"A gem of a book, which entertainingly describes rail travel in the 1870s, with some remarkable similarities to today's journeys. As the author himself would have put it, "a capital volume"." (Christian Wolmar)
"A treasure trove of Victorian delights – an undiscovered classic of rail travel." (Michael Williams, author of On The Slow Train)
Wryly humorous and quintessentially British, Three Men and a Bradshaw collects the previously unpublished holiday journals of John Freeman, who travelled Britain with his brothers during the 1870s. Each year the trio would settle upon a destination, buy their tickets and set off – armed, of course, with their trusty Bradshaw's Descriptive Railway Hand-book.
John's delightful records of their trips contain much that will resonate with the modern traveller, from the eccentricities of fellow passengers and locals to the tender mercies of the British climate. At the same time they offer insights into the experiences particular to a Victorian tourist, and are full of valuable local history on everywhere from Devon and Jersey to Scotland and Wales.
Beautifully illustrated throughout with John’s original drawings, this is a fascinating and uniquely personal historical artefact, as well as an enchanting and frequently hilarious evocation of a distant but still wholly recognisable Britain.
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