Walter Jerrold, Hugh Thomson (Illustrations) Highways and Byways in Kent, 1907


Cat No.:   IE5037:

Originally published in London 1907 by MacMillan & Co., Ltd., this first edition of the Highways and Byways in Kent, is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom. Macmillan began publishing the Highways & Byways series in 1899 and by 1909 had completed almost twenty publications in the series, which extended across the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales, with one publication on Normandy and and another on Ireland. This highly popular series continued until the beginning of the Second World War. In May 2009 Pan Macmillan reissued a one-volume collection of the best of the Highways and Byways series offering a glimpse of the very best of Britain.

The original publication of the Highways and Byways in Kent contains more than 440 printed pages, including a map of Kent, but alas not the route of the author, Walter Jerrold, who chose to take many short trips from a central point, and almost 150 pen and ink illustrations by Hugh Thomson, providing as with all of the Highways and Byways series a wonderful mix of topography, local history and folklore, which perhaps more than ever allows the reader to rediscover parts of Britain that have long disappeared under a morass of concrete.

Walter Jerrold undertook 21 'tours' on which he reported in the Highways and Byways in Kent and these included the following: Canterbury, its Cathedral, city and surrounds; the Isle of Thanet; Sandwich, Deal and the Goodwins; Dover and its neighbourhood; Folkstone and Hythe; Romney Marsh; around Ashford; Cranbrooke and the 'Hursts'; Maidstone and its neighbourhood; Tonbridge and 'the Wells'; Penshurst; Westerham and Sevonaks; Otford and 'the Hams'; Dartford and Gravesend; Cobham, Rochester and the Thames Marshes; Sittingbourne, Faversham and Sheppey and finally Kent near London.

Much of the charm a vigour of the Highways and Byways series which has stood the test of time is down to the travellers and in the case of Kent this is no exception. Walter Jerrold (1865-1929) was born in Liverpool, but spent most of his life in London. Beginning life as a clerk in a newspaper counting house, he became deputy editor of the Observer newspaper and acted as editor for many classics of literature for the newly-founded Everyman's Library. He also wrote many biographies, including those on Charles Lamb and Thomas Hunt and under the pseudonym Walter Copeland published the best-known collection of nursery rhymes of the early 20th century in addition to writing a number of works for Macmillan's Highways and Byways series. The Highways and Byways in Kent are replete with more than 150 pen and ink sketches by Hugh Thomson. Born in Coleraine in 1860, by 1883 Thomson had moved to London and had begun working as the illustrator for Macmillan. Amongst his many credits are the illustrations for more than 70 novels, including those of Jane Austen and by the time he drew the illustrations for the Highways and Byways in Kent Thomson was the most popular and successful illustrator of his time. Much of Thomson's work was purchased by Derry City Council and when originals of his pen and ink sketches come up for sale they command high prices and for this reason alone the many books in the Highways and Byways series illustrated by Thomson - which are the majority - are well worth purchasing and this edition for Kent is no exception. 

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