Monday, 9 March 2015


Bradshaw's Guide is consulted by:

Sherlock Holmes;

Mainwethering of Poul Anderson's Time Patrol London office;

a character in a ghost story by Rudyard Kipling;

Athelstane King in SM Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers (New York, 2003), p. 343;

Michael Portillo, former Conservative Member of the British Parliament (see image).

King has Bradshaw's Indian Imperial Railways by Newman's of Calcutta. Bradshaw himself died in 1853, well before the Fall.

Portillo, in a BBC TV series, traveled around Britain, and later Europe, guided by Bradshaw. His brief was to find out how much of Bradshaw's world still survived and how much had changed. For example:

the railway takes Portillo to the building that was the first factory (and here) in the world;
Bradshaw describes the Crystal Palace which burned down in 1936;
Birmingham will soon have a majority non-white population, unlike in Bradshaw's time! - there is a Central Mosque and many Indian restaurants and one restaurant owner intends to found a college to teach authentic Indian cooking.

It would have been remiss of either Anderson or Stirling not to mention Bradshaw but, of course, they both do.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Now that I've both looked up the link for Bradshaw's and thought about it a bit, I'm surprised they stopped being printed in 1961. It seems such a useful idea, having handbooks of rail road tables and other facts useful or convenient for travelers.

Yes, I know, other handbooks, such as Folgers, have replaced Bradshaw, at least in part.