[From Mate's Isle of Man Illustrated, 1902]


Victoria Pier, Douglas
Victoria Pier, Douglas.

THE ISLE OF MAN is geograpically the focus of the British Islands-England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales being in fact, so nearly equi-distant from Man, that Castletown, its ancient capital, lies exactly midway, north and south, between the nearest points of Scotland and Anglesey ; while Douglas, the modern capital, is also equi-distant from the nearest points, east and west, of England and Ireland-the radial line in both cases being something short of forty miles. In all that makes for picturesque beauty, Man is a veritable "Treasure Island." Even the commonest scenes of field and hill derive a peculiar charm from the purity of the atmosphere, a blending of the air of mountain and sea. The climate is at once so temperate and so bracing that Manxmen settled in England will tell you that in re-visiting home their constant delight is " to breathe again the pure air." In the roll of its historic and romantic associations are embraced Celtic Saint, Norse Viking, Monk, Friar, Cavalier, Puritan, and Smuggler ; while the life and characteristics of modern times have supplied to Mr. Hall Caine the material for romances of world-wide popularity. The name and fame of " Little Man Island" have, in recent years, been extending to larger and larger circles ; but its claims on the real attention of the touring public are not nearly so well known as they ought to be. The present work has been undertaken to meet a definite want:-to provide for those who have visited the Island a literary, historical, and pictorial souvenir of the scenes with which their visit has made them familiar, while to those who have a visit in project and those who must be content with the reflection and not the substance, it will serve to convey some adequate idea of what Manxland really is. This works contains in brief a carefully studied sketch of the Island's history, its legendary lore, poetry and song. It professes to offer a concise and trustworthy account of Rushen Abbey, St. German's Cathedral, the castles, ancient churches, Runic crosses, and other antiquarian remains. Statistics are given from the meteorological observations of recent years, with notes on climate and weather. Incidentally, also, information from the best sources on geological and botanical characteristics. And, finally, as its specific object, it will be a Guidebook on any and every path of the tourist.

For the excellent series of views which illustrate this work, we are indebted to Mr. Cowen, of Ramsey, whose work has attained a high place among English Art Photographers, and to Mr. Keig, of Douglas; while for the letterpress we have been especially happy in securing the services of the Rev. J. Quine, who is acknowledged among his countrymen to have a thorough knowledge of Manxland and the Manx people ; and last, but not least, we must tender our best thanks to the Isle of Man Board of Advertising for their valuable assistance in facilitating our task.

W. MATE & SONS, Ltd., Publishers.


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