The Scientific Tourist - Preface v

Here the author expresses his concern for those travellers who 'move about to kill time, fly through the different counties with the greatest celerity, pay no attention to what is most worthy of notice; but return home again as ignorant as they set out.' The author hopes that his book will be 'a most interesting companion' to those who 'travel for improvement'.

The following paragraph outlines a number of items that may come in handy to the scientific tourist. These include a 'small hard chisel and hammer to detach lichens and mineralogical specimens from the rocks'; 'a botanical tin box for collecting plants, and a quire of blotting-paper to arrange them in'; 'a measuring tape or walking stick, an exact yard, to measure buildings and entrenchments'; and a pocket telescope.

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.

Taken from: The Scientific Tourist
Author / Creator: Walford, T
Publisher: Booth, J
Date: 1818
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: 796.b.9