After dinner, I sat down to do some more work, but I got distracted. Sitting here, I suddenly wondered what sort of free history e-books I could find. Within in minutes I came across this one; ‘Travels in England in 1782‘ by Karl Philipp Moritz
Moritz was a German clergyman who, thankfully for us, was an Anglophile. He’d long wanted to visit England and finally arrived on June 2, 1782 (which I thought appropriate as it’s June 3rd) and he takes the reader on the journey. After the first few pages, I’m utterly enchanted. He’s noting down everything that seems foreign to him, so we get to see what he sees and experience his journey. Historic gold! He only spent a few weeks in England, but he managed to see London and a few other places he’d dreamed of.
We join him as he’s leaving the ship. He and five other travellers are set ashore near some white cliffs and they walk to the nearest village. (I’m guessing they were travelling light!) From there they hire a post-chaise…this was a vehicle where the driver (or drivers in some cases) rode one of the horses (so there was no coachman making it a much lighter, faster and cheaper travel). Here’s a short excerpt…
“The Hire of a post-chaise is a shilling for every English mile…these carriages are very neat and lightly built… The horses are generally good, and the postillions particularly smart and active, and always ride on a full trot. The one we had wore his hair cut short, a round hat, and a brown jacket of tolerable fine cloth, with a nosegay in his bosom. Now and then, when he drove very hard, he looked around, and with a smile seemed to solicit our approbation…”
This makes me feel like I’ve been momentarily transported back in time! I mentally see the postillion that morning getting dressed for work and his cheerful wife picking a pretty flower from the garden to put in his handsome coat. Magical! I’m looking forward to reading Moritz’s adventures.
I downloaded my free e-book copy on Amazon, but the book is sure to be available on other e-retailers.
The editing of Once Upon a Wager is coming along. I have a dream that it will be done by the end of the month. That is my hope! I’ll let you know. 🙂