Review The Journals of a Victorian Traveller – Martin Laurie

The Journals of a Victorian Traveller contains the transcribed and edited journals of Julia Biddulph who travelled the world with her husband during the last two decades of the 19th Century. The journals had remained unread since being rescued from the ruins of a bombed house in Canterbury during the Second World War.

This book is basically what it says on the tin… the journals of Julia Biddulph as she travels around. And in parts it can be quite dull. Especially in the first half she moves around a lot between camps and not much else is happening. We just read short entries about that they went from A to B at a certain time. Now and then they visit a museum or a zoo, but in general it was quite boring.

In the second half her entries become longer and she describes in more detail the places the visits and the people she meets and spends time with. It gives us modern readers a nice insight into what life was like 140 years ago.

Julia herself has a fun way of writing. It is very easy to read and she just has a way with words that make even the most boring entries somewhat entertaining. She is up for anything and doesn’t take the easy way out. She got married quite late in life and never had children, which I found refreshing to read. Even though she is certainly a lady of means and can me quite judgmental of people of lower class, I found her a lot more respectful of the locals than I had anticipated.

Overall, this was a relaxing read which I would recommend if you are interested in the time period. It made me very excited for this travel ban to be over and go see the world again.

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