Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson


























































































 - AFOOT IN ENGLAND

BY W.H. HUDSON


Contents

     I. Guide Books: An Introduction,
    II. On Going Back,
   III. Walking and - Page 1
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AFOOT IN ENGLAND

BY W.H. HUDSON

Contents

I. Guide Books: An Introduction, II. On Going Back, III. Walking and Cycling, IV. Seeking a Shelter, V. Wind, Wave, and Spirit, VI. By Swallowfield, VII. Roman Calleva, VIII. A Cold Day at Silchester, IX. Rural Rides, X. The Last of his Name, XI. Salisbury and its Doves, XII. Whitesheet Hill, XIII. Bath and Wells Revisited, XIV. The Return of the Native, XV. Summer Days on the Otter, XVI. In Praise of the Cow, XVII. An Old Road Leading Nowhere, XVIII. Branscombe, XIX. A Abbotsbury, XX. Salisbury Revisited, XXI. Stonehenge, XXII. The Tillage and "The Stones," XXIII. Following a River, XXIV. Troston, XXV. My Friend Jack,

Chapter One: Guide-Books: An Introduction

Guide-books are so many that it seems probable we have more than any other country - possibly more than all the rest of the universe together. Every county has a little library of its own - guides to its towns, churches, abbeys, castles, rivers, mountains; finally, to the county as a whole. They are of all prices and all sizes, from the diminutive paper-covered booklet, worth a penny, to the stout cloth-bound octavo volume which costs eight or ten or twelve shillings, or to the gigantic folio county history, the huge repository from which the guide-book maker gets his materials. For these great works are also guide-books, containing everything we want to learn, only made on so huge a scale as to be suited to the coat pockets of Brobdingnagians rather than of little ordinary men. The wonder of it all comes in when we find that these books, however old and comparatively worthless they may be, are practically never wholly out of date. When a new work is brought out (dozens appear annually) and, say, five thousand copies sold, it does not throw as many, or indeed any, copies of the old book out of circulation: it supersedes nothing. If any man can indulge in the luxury of a new up-to-date guide to any place, and gets rid of his old one (a rare thing to do), this will be snapped up by poorer men, who will treasure it and hand it down or on to others. Editions of 1860-50-40, and older, are still prized, not merely as keepsakes but for study or reference. Any one can prove this by going the round of a dozen second-hand booksellers in his own district in London. There will be tons of literary rubbish, and good stuff old and new, but few guidebooks - in some cases not one. If you ask your man at a venture for, say, a guide to Hampshire, he will most probably tell you that he has not one in stock; then, in his anxiety to do business, he will, perhaps, fish out a guide to Derbyshire, dated 1854 - a shabby old book - and offer it for four or five shillings, the price of a Crabbe in eight volumes, or of Gibbon's Decline and Fall in six volumes, bound in calf.

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