This pictorial treasure trove of visual historic mapping will enable armchair time travel at its very best – especially for those who have obtained a copy of the recent facsimile copy of George Bradshaw’s tourist’s handbook. Transporting the reader back to Victorian Britain, the many railway journey guides described evocatively in Bradshaw’s handbook can be explored by using this atlas in tandem to follow the routes visually, including all of the stations along the way, for the first time.
At the core of Bradshaw’s Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland is the exquisite reproduction of the very last detailed railway map that was produced by George Bradshaw, originally published in 1852 and recently re-mastered and art worked by Steve Toulouse, who also recently reproduced many historic maps for the prestigious Times Atlas – Mapping the Railways. Published one year before Bradshaw’s death, his railway Map of Great Britain and Ireland is a visual record of train travel at its height – the golden era of the railways – and his guides are clearly a labour of love, bursting with enthusiasm and a fascination with train travel.
This atlas, a culmination of over two years of work, is alive with Victorian imagery, with over 100 vignette views and vistas from around the Britain of a bygone era. Bradshaw’s mapping of the railways encompasses routes across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel area of France, as well as being magnificently supplemented with no less than twenty detailed British Town Plans. These exquisite maps were originally published in 1851 by John Tallis, enabling the time traveller to stop off at mainline stations and explore the labyrinths of Victorian streets and public places. In addition, the atlas presents a further eight “Environs” maps by George Bradshaw; Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin, followed by his railway map of London covering a full page spread. The atlas concludes with a full index of stations referenced to the page on which they appear in the atlas, and many also cross reference to the page they are referred to in the recently re-published facsimile of Bradshaw’s tourist guide.