Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn

Victorians and Edwardians Abroad (Paperback)

The Beginning of the Modern Holiday

Military/Maritime/Historical The Victorian Era 20th Century

By Neil Matthews
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 135
ISBN: 9781473834279
Published: 6th December 2016


£12.00 was £14.99

You save £2.99 (20%)

You'll be £12.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Victorians and Edwardians Abroad. What's this?

‘Victorians and Edwardians abroad: the beginning of the modern holiday’ reveals a story never told before: the early years of one of Britain’s leading modern travel agencies, the Polytechnic Touring Association (PTA). Created in 1888 within Britain’s first Polytechnic, the PTA was an emblem of the era. It served a growing mass of middle-class and lower middle-class consumers, who found for the first time that they had the time and money to take extended holidays, often abroad. This book explains the creation of the Polytechnic and the PTA, charting the expansion of the travel agency into continental Europe and beyond.

‘Victorians and Edwardians abroad’ uncovers the recollections of those who went on ‘Poly holidays’ before 1914: how they experienced the journeys, what they did when they reached their destinations and what they thought holidays should be about. For all the serious strictures from their social ‘betters’ about the educational and ‘improving’ aspects of travel, PTA holidaymakers enjoyed themselves: liberating pork pies from train carriages, annoying foreign policemen and even beating the German Emperor to the last horses in town. Letters, articles and diaries of Poly holidays reveal a penchant for fun, even naughtiness, not often associated with the Victorians and Edwardians. Also included are a selection of postcards, photographs and promotional items from the PTA archives. Victorians and Edwardians abroad is a fascinating glimpse into holidays as they were, just over a hundred years ago.

This is an engaging history for which Matthews has looked at brochures, leaflets, guide books, memorabilia and a wealth of postcards, some of which are copied with that delight - the written side also reproduced, so we have authentic voices from the past.

WDYTYA? Magazine, February 2017 - reviewed by Jad Adams

This volume is ‘specialist’ in nature and this reviewer believes that it is likely to be of most interest and use to historians specialising in British social history, the history of British education (especially the development of ‘technical’ education), and the British Industrial Revolution. As it details the rise of British mass-travel, social-history researchers with an interest in that subject may also find this work useful, while those with a more ‘generalist’ interest in Britain may well find something to interest them.

NZ Crown Mines

As featured in

Antiques Diary, March 2017
 Neil Matthews

About Neil Matthews

Neil Matthews was born in London and read History at UCL and the University of Westminster. His research into the Polytechnic Touring Association has been featured in Educating Mind, Body and Spirit: the legacy of Quintin Hogg and the Polytechnic, 1864-1992 and in Leisure Studies. Neil is also an award-winning travel writer, with articles in Best of British, Optima and elsewhere. His travel book Journeys from Wimbledon Common was published in 2012. By profession he is a Chartered Marketer, specialising in not-for-profit roles.

Perfect Partner

Images of the Past: The British Seaside (Paperback)

Drawing on the archives of Mary Evans Picture Library, ‘Images of the Past – The British Seaside’ is a nostalgic promenade through the history of Britain’s seaside resorts from their early genesis as health destinations to their glorious, mid-20th century heyday, subsequent decline and recent regeneration. British coastal resorts developed during a period of vast expansion and social change. Within a century, the bathing phenomenon changed from a cautiously modest immersion in the sea to a pastime that prompted the building of vast art deco temples dedicated to the cult of swimming. Once…

By Lucinda Gosling

Click here to buy both titles for £23.99
Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in Pen & Sword History...