F67 Guide Books

The Island developed as a tourist resort from around the 1820's though mostly from after the 1850's when it became the playground of the working classes from Lancashire. 

What was probably the first guidebook was printed in 1808, the supposed author being Nathaniel Jefferys (at one time jeweller to the Prince Regent) who contributed a strange 'apology' as preface (removed from the 2nd edition of 1809) - Cubbon is probably correct in ascribing the true authorship to a Mr Bell from Newcastle.

The standard format of the guides was to commence with some history of the Island, its constitution and laws, the Manx Church, a fairly full description of Douglas and ending with various tours around the Island. Some guides added a directory of tradespersons etc; most added various bits of folklore (usually retailed from Waldron or Train). Leech's guide of 1861 was unusual in that as he came from Ramsey, that town was given precedence over Douglas.

Jenkinson's Guide of 1874 was a very thorough account.

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© F.Coakley , 2001