Punch,  49 (1865), 33–34.

The Guide to Bradshaw  [1/9]



Serial, Essay, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



C H B *


Railways, Publishing, Time, Comparative Philology, Mental Illness

    The 'Preface' upholds Bradshaw's Monthly Railway Guide as one of the greatest of all 'literary efforts', but notes the confusion, error, general unreliability of the work. Nevertheless insists that 'the so-called difficulties are far less real than apparent' and believes that 'an honest student who applies himself [...] to the work, will encounter no greater obstacles' than those 'surmounted by Jean-François Champollion during his laborious researches into the mysteries of the Egyptian hieroglyphics'. Later points out that without this work one would loose mental and physical strength trying to determine information about trains, and would end up in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum 'harmlessly playing at Steam-Engines' and engaging in other insane activities. Proceeds to 'Chapter I' which begins by claiming that George Bradshaw is no more the author of his guide than Christopher Wren is of Saint Paul's Cathedral and then pokes fun at the complexities of the book, complexities which prompt the author to question why Bradshaw wrote the book in the first place. The illustration shows a lunatic attempting to drag miniature railway carriages along a floor.

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