This dramatic engraving of Dover Castle forms the frontispiece to volume 1 of The Scientific Tourist. Note the interested tourists looking out to sea with their telescopes.
About The Scientific Tourist
The Scientific Tourist, published in 1818, is a guidebook to obscure scientific and historical curiosities in the British Isles. Specialist guidebooks were an increasingly popular genre at this time, catering for the growing number of tourists travelling around the country. The books provided a model for how to be a 'serious' tourist, presenting amateur scholars and collectors with a wealth of 'authoritative' information. In general, guidebooks focused on all sorts of subjects - sketching, fossils, botany, ancient monuments and picturesque landscapes - and frequently combined, as in this case, several of these in one volume. The author's encyclopaedic approach was designed to make it easy for the 'inexperienced' traveller to find engaging and improving objects of scientific and artistic enquiry.