Three Men and a Brad­shaw

By John Ge­orge Free­manF

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

(RRan­dom House, 3 84 pages, £16.99) ThisT book col­lects to­gether th he di­aries of John Free­man, tr rav­el­ling with his two b rothers (hence the “Three Men”M in the ti­tle), and their trustytr Brad­shaw’s De­scrip­tive Rail­way Hand-book.

As a daily rail­way com­muter and a ge­neal­o­gist with an in­ter­est in his­tory, I was es­pe­cially at­tracted to this. As it’s made up of the per­sonal di­aries and sketches of John Free­man, the reader gets a uniquely de­scrip­tive ac­count of the rail­way jour­ney it­self, the ar­eas vis­ited and an in­sight into the Vic­to­rian way of life. The ad­di­tion of ex­plana­tory foot­notes helps to de­scribe some of the lesser-known terms used, which pro­vides an ed­u­ca­tional slant to the book in ad­di­tion to the plea­sure of read­ing the di­aries.

Any­one who may live in the ar­eas that are cov­ered in this book, or have vis­ited the lo­ca­tions as tourists them­selves, will find it par­tic­u­larly en­ter­tain­ing, and will be able to iden­tify eas­ily with the de­scrip­tions in the di­ary be­cause of the clar­ity with which they are writ­ten.

I would rec­om­mend the book from a so­cial his­tory as­pect, as well as giv­ing an in­sight into your Vic­to­rian an­ces­tors and their lives.

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