I have not seen these books, but I am VERY intrigued!
A Week on the Broads was “advertised” in the recent Christmas email from the bookshop at The National Archives in Britain. Only 96 pages, it didn’t really catch my attention at first. But I have been to Norfolk, and I my attention was piqued just enough by the sub-title, “Four Victorian gents at sail on a Norfolk gaffer in 1889,” to search it out. I’m glad I did!
S.K. Baker’s volume about the Norfolk Broads actually has a companion volume, entitled Camping on the Wye. Both came out this year, in June and August 2017.
Michael Goffe, a descendant of one of the “gents” who accompanied Baker, owns the sketchbooks — “Facsimile” in this case means S.K. Baker’s words and watercolor pictures!
Amazon.uk lets us “look inside” the two books:
- Camping on the Wye: Four Victorian gents row the Wye in a randan skiff in 1892. (also: a Sample, from Bloomsbury, includes the “into”]
- A Week on the Broads: Four Victorian gents at sail on a Norfolk gaffer in 1889.
And it’s the look inside that will convince you that there’s a LOT packed inside. Here’s a page from each volume:
S.K. Baker and his “Victorian Gents” made the Times Literary Supplement in October (2017). Of course, the writer (Jacqueline Banerjee) alludes to Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat – and calls her article, “Four Men in a Boat”.
More images from the book, A Week on the Broads, and some background information can be found in The Great Yarmouth Mercury‘s article — including a photo of Michael Goff. It was this article, by Andrew Stone, that REALLY fired my imagination!
And there’s the thing: illustrating why the books are “facsimile” editions (as Stone’s article does) goes a LONG way towards helping readers appreciate just what their owner is now sharing with us. This small remainder — just two sketchbook diaries — of one man’s life (and four men’s adventures) is a very special gift indeed.