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on 26 January 2012
According to Robert Humm, the bookseller who sold Mr. Portillo the original book. This is the difference between the facsimiles:

So much for originals. Now for the good news : not one but two reprints of the Portillo set have been produced and both are on offer in our New Books section. You can use the Search Box to find them quickly by entering the reference codes.

Reference : A2855 . Title : Bradshaw's Guide. Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. A complete year set of the four regional parts for 1866. Paperback, with an enlarged page size for easier reading. £24.95

Reference : A2893 . Cover title : Bradshaw's Hand Book 1. 2. 3. 4. (from title page : Bradshaw's Descriptive Railway Hand-Book Of Great Britain And Ireland.) A reprint of the actual volume used on the TV programmes. £9.99

And for those of you on the cheap, Michael Portillo's site gives a link to where you can download the book.

I bought the copy of the 1863 version used by Portillo and am happy I made that choice. The quality is super and it is more than just the text of the book (yes, pictures and some adverts).
0Comment73 of 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 October 2011
This is a gem of a book, a very rare treasure, This book is one of the foundation blocks of the rail network, George Bradshaw made, for the first time, the rail network organised and accessible for everyone, his timetables were a major breakthrough and although the last of these were published in 1961 that legacy can still be witnessed today, probably lesser known before BBC TV's Great British Railway Journeys, are the Tourist Handbooks he published, in these guides he tells the Victorian Tourist where to travel, what sights to see and where to stay along with a distinctively Victorian commentary style he also gives an interesting historical narrative, there are also numerous railway excursion tables, Bradshaw also uses his primary skill as a cartographer to provide detailed maps and plans of primarily noteworthy locations, a hotel guide can also be found at the back of the book but most exquisite are the illustrations of various buildings, sights and scenes along the way, in all this is a very valuable look back to life in 1866 and this should be a book to be treasured for all times
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on 23 November 2011
Ever since I first watched 'Great British Rail Journeys' on TV I have wanted a copy of this book, so was delighted to see that it has been reprinted. It seemed quite a lot of money for a paperback, but I splashed out and the book arrived the other day. It is fascinating to see the text that Portillo uses, but I am rather disappointed in the quality. The paper is thin and very white, and the printing is grey and quite dotty. The maps and adverts especially are indistinct.
I have today been emailed by Amazon who are suggesting that I might like to buy a different version of the book. Apparently this one is a facsimile of the actual book used in the TV programme. And it's hardback, and much much cheaper. I love the content of 'Bradshaw', but I am wondering if I should have waited...Bradshaw's Handbook - A Facsimile of the Famous Guide (Old House)
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on 1 February 2012
I imagine everyone, me included, who saw Michael Portillo's most interesting series was beguiled by glimpses of "Bradshaw". Well here it is and very good too but for value for money it lags well behind the cheaper hard cover version. Having bought the cheaper version (1863 ed.) I was tempted by the promise of the fold-out maps and bought this one (1866 ed.). Well the maps don't fold out and what is a source of irritation with many if not most modern books with two-page spreads, much information disappears into the 'gutter'. The quality of reproduction is not up to that of the other volume but for all that is quite acceptable, the maps in both editions really require Sam Weller's gas microscopes to get the full flavour. The advertisments are interesting but are the usual run found in guide books of this period and many originals of these are usually not dear to buy. Here you are paying quite a bit extra to have the advertisements but if you want them this is the edition for you. I haven't compared the texts but suspect in essence they don't differ overmuch. Some other reviewer who has done the same as me might care to comment on this.
Trying not to damn it with faint praise but my personal preference as you may have noticed, is for the hard-back. Either is a fascinating read (in small doses) and I recommend them. Comparisons between 'then and now' are always fun. Which one you get is your choice there are ample opinions to choose from here, you won't be disappointed with either.
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on 5 February 2012
I love the Bradshaw book and the lingering voice of Micheal Portillo in the back of my mind as I read through the various rail journeys. A must for people who love travel by rail and at a time when it is cheaper to split the journey on single tickets it is worth getting out of the station for one hour and consulting Bradshaws for the local vicinity. My only disappointment was the cover I wanted more texture and aging to the pages! Angie C
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on 3 March 2012
Fastinating insight to early rail and tourism the content warrents better reproduction as some of the pages are only just readable. The cost represents poor value?
0Comment9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 March 2012
Quality especially outside covers not so good for such an expensive book.
Seeing Michael Portillo use it several times on each of his Railway programs, expectations were high but unlikely to take it with us on any train journeys. Perhaps the "Hype" has made it sell in quantity.
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on 9 February 2012
This is not the best facsimlie copy of a book that I have seen, the text is dark grey in places rather than black and at times rather fuzzy. The illustrations are rather small and grey and the maps are too small and can be difficult to read. However, the contemporary advertisements are interesting and amusing in some of their audacious claims. Having said all this it is still a thoroughly enjoyable read, I would recommend buying the cheaper version without the maps and illustrations as I don't think the quality of reproduction is worth the extra money. Whichever version is bought it is still cheaper than buying an original 1866 Bradshaw, that's if you can find one.
0Comment9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 December 2012
I do not like this handbook because the print quality for a book costing £22 is extremely disappointing. The handbook was purchased as a gift for my husband who loved the series by Michael Portillo based on this guide. If I had purchased the book in a store I would have spotted the inferior quality!
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on 6 January 2012
A fascinating book for anyone interested in the geography and local history of Britain. There are lots of interesting snippets of information about places around the country. However, it is difficult to find the town you are interested in, because there are separate indexes for the different sections, the book could be improved by having just one (modern) index at the back. The maps and illustrations are really too small to appreciate, but this might have been true of the original book. I liked the section of original advertisements.
0Comment15 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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