I found an 1855 edition of this book online. It is a 947-page romp – to the extent that gentlemen from the Victorian era can be accused of romping. But what I like most is Murray’s Handbook Advertiser, appended to Volume I.
The advertising supplement contains ads for hotels, railways, field-glasses, passport agencies, portmanteaus, maps, flannel suits – in short, everything that the traveller might reasonably need, and a lot of other junk besides. I read every single page of it – all 91 ads – for I love things like Murray’s Handbook Advertiser. I liked the emphasis on care, craftsmanship and moderate charges, the testimonials from distinguished patrons, the deferential and courteous tone (“respectfully solicits”, “begs leave to recommend”) – I even liked the wanton deployment of fonts, the flagrant violation of every typographic tenet devised by man. But my favourite is this advertisement, appearing on the very last page of the handbook.
Polyglot Washing Books, whither wert thou then?