The Guide to Bradshaw. Chapter III [4/9]
Serial, Essay, Drollery
C H B *
Railways, Publishing, Reading
The initial letter forms part of an illustration showing a male figure being chased along a railway line by a steam locomotive and carriages which are bent into the form of a 'w'. This article focuses on some of George Bradshaw's 'peculiar vein of humour' that runs through Bradshaw's Monthly Railway Guide. Some of the misleading and inaccurate terms used in the work are exposed. For example, the author insists that there are 'six classes' of train, from the first class which 'start and arrive', to the sixth class which 'neither start nor arrive, but "run"', and that the first four classes are 'Visibila', while the last two are 'Invisibilia; running probably on the geometrical line, length without breadth'. (64) Mocks Bradshaw's 'mode of stating the distance' which 'starts with a unit and a half'. The other illustrations show 'The Double Janus Guard, for Clapham Junction', an automaton pointsman who points in four directions simultaneously, and a steam locomotive that looks like a vicious spider in its web, complete with railway carriages for legs.
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