Publisher: London: John Murray, 1820.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Colbert; ODNB; Robinson, pages 194-95; Pine-Coffin 792-5.
Condition: Title-page and prelims somewhat foxed; edges a little rubbed; fine copy.
Book ID: 27513
DescriptionThick 8vo, 19th century black half calf, marbled paper boards, maroon morocco label, gilt decorations and lettering.
CommentsMariana Starke (1762-1838) was a budding playwright when she moved to Italy in 1792 to care for an ailing relative. Her stay there inspired Letters from Italy Between the Years 1792 and 1798 (1800; revised 1815), a narrative with some recommendations for travelers. In 1817 she began work on Travels on the Continent, intended solely as a guidebook, based in part on her earlier Italian travelogue, with the addition of information about travel through France and Switzerland. With its "exhaustive details of expenses, itineraries, boarding-houses, food, and luggage requirements" (Robinson) it became a model for the later guides of Baedeker and John Murray. Pine-Coffin describes it as a "pioneer of the guidebook.” And in the tradition of guidebooks, Starke continued to update Travels; it went through several revised editions until her death in 1838 in Milan. Mariana Starke can safely be regarded as the first English woman to earn an income by writing about travel.