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The Old House edition of Bradshaw's Handbook is very much a curate's egg
on 30 January 2012
On the one hand, Old House is to be applauded for providing an exceedingly cheap facsimile edition, in hardcover, of the important and very rare 1863 edition of Bradshaw's Handbook (just £5 from Amazon). However, this venture is let down by the publication being incomplete and inconsistently so. While the illustrations listed in the indices of each of the four sections refers to maps and town plans, only the plans of Sections 3 and 4 are included (at the back) and then reduced from foldouts to the size of a page (less than A5 in size) where they are unusable. The town plans of Sections 1 and 2 are omitted. Why? Moreover, none of the foldout maps are included in this edition, presumably for the reasons given by `Historystudent' on behalf of Old House, namely that the originals of the maps (and some of the town plans?) in the copy used for the facsimile are in poor condition. In that case, it would have been logical to fill these gaps with the maps and town plans of the 1866 edition, say (which are not significantly different). The mid Victorian maps and town plans are fascinating and an essential complement to Bradshaw's text. It is very frustrating that these are missing and `Historystundent' should not brush this omission aside so lightly.
For those who are interested in viewing (at a readable scale) the maps and plans from Bradshaw (apart from those that featured on the back of each title, which are not included), I can strongly recommend the on-line 1866 version of Bradshaw (including the indulgent supplements of advertisements that were not present the original 1863 edition): this can be viewed and downloaded gratis as four pdf files from the "hathitrust digital library", under "Bradshaw's handbook for tourists in Great Britain", as explained by another reviewer. For me the optimum solution is to possess the low budget Old House volume (which is well printed and readable) for the text together with printouts of the maps and plans magnified to a satisfactory scale from the pdf files available online.