The lure of the guidebook (1830-1860)

The lure of the guidebook (1830-1860)

New editions of travel books keep appearing. They describe the country and the people, and how to reach the sights. They remove the fear of foreign parts.

The tyranny of the guidebook
Karl Baedeker and John Murray highlight the sights with stars and devise routes to cover them. Their publications in their typical red covers set the standard for the modern guidebook. It determines what one should see. Critics lament, however: "Once one has fallen victim to the red book, all attempts to escape it are in vain."

The image of the Tyroler
Many guidebooks accept the image of the Tyroler that the Tyrolean pedlars like to present and turn it into a cliché. According to a French guidebook of 1823, "the Tyroler rarely works without at least whistling, but if he hears any sort of music he soon starts to beat time with his foot, clap his hands and slap his thighs and knees."