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jul 13 2011

Hilarious Victorian tips for travelers

Views you can use. (Courtesy London's Royal Geographical Society)

The latest travel muse comes from beyond the grave: a Victorian lady with a cheeky style, a stern name, and practical advice. "Hints for Lady Travellers," written in 1889 by said Victorian lady (Lillias Campbell Davidson) was recently reprinted by London's Royal Geographical Society and put on sale by Amazon for about $8. It is like a hundred-plus-page finishing school, aimed at the upper class English woman traveling abroad on her own for the first time, "becoming her own unescorted and independent person, a lady traveller."

The author weighs in with fashion advice ("deerstalker caps are affected by many women in travelling, but suit very few, and where the effect is not exceedingly becoming it may be said to be distinctly the reverse"), pragmatic train travel tips (pack an "eau de toilette" to freshen the air in less aromatic and salubrious spaces), and recommendations for technologies that are worthy of today's SkyMall magazine (pack a portable bathtub disguised as a suitcase).

Dear old Davidson dishes out tips on boarding houses, cycling tours, and mountaineering trips. She may seem quaint in her concerns and attitude. Then again, maybe we'll look back at Anthony Bourdain and Rick Steves with similar amusement.

[Hat tip to Intelligent Life for spotting the book, and the 1889 Times of London review of the book for context.]

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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