Along with contemporary and modern literature first editions, guide books are one of the most accessible places to start a collection of rare books. The classic guide books (Baedeker’s, Murray’s and Thomas Cook handbooks) were published at the beginning of the industrial revolution. As transport became easier, the nouveau riche sought to undertake grand tours of Europe and the Baedeker was an invaluable accompaniment, just as Lonely Planet guided young gap year students in the 80s and 90s.
Not only are guide books relatively inexpensive, but they provide a valuable insight into the shape, structure and aesthetics of historical Europe.
Shapero Rare Books is probably the leading international specialist in antiquarian travel guide books. We stock an extensive range from the eighteenth century onwards. Visit us to see one of the largest collections of Baedeker’s, Murray’s and Thomas Cook handbooks.
Most of our stock is listed on this website but, if the item you are looking for is not here, please feel free to contact us. Naturally, we are also always interested in acquiring collections or interesting single books.
Murray's Cyclist's Roadbook. From London through Guildfored, Chichester, Portsmouth, and Southampton, to the New Forest and back by Romsey, Winchester, Guildford, Dorking and Epsom.
With an atlas of the road.1897
A unusual publication by Murray. Scarce. Description Small 8vo. pp.viii, 115, 14pp of coloured maps at rear; publisher's red cloth gilt., published 1897 Bibliography Stock ID: 95057£65
Illustrated Hand-book to Spain and Portugal A complete guide for travellers in the Peninsula with maps, town plans and steel illustrations.1895
Written by Dr Charnock. ( author of Bradshaw's Guide to the Tyrol) .Plans include Barcelona, Madrid, Cadiz and Valencia. Description 8vo. ( 17 x 13 cm) pp. xii, 191 (lacks half a page of text-p.191) , 32pp adverts at rear,…£50
Syria and the Lebanon. 1941
Town plans include Damascus, Beirut and Aleppo. Description Second edition. Small 8vo, xcvi, 199pp including adverts, one large folding coloured map in rear pocket, with 3 small folding town plans, ink signature on title-page, publisher's red cloth, gilt lettering dull…£65
MATSON, Olaf G. (compiler)
The American Colony Guide Book to Jerusalem and environs. including Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, The Dead Sea and the Galillee Excursion with extensive introductory notes and full historical review.1925.
Large coloured map of Palestine before title-page. Description Second edition. 8vo (16.5 x 12 cm), ii, 271, , 6pp. of adverts, illustrated with plans and maps, some folding and coloured, includes a plan of Jerusalem in pocket at rear, publisher's…£85
Palestine and Syria. 1894.
In this edition the views have been eliminated except for the attractive folding panorama of Jerusalem. This is the famous edition which gave rise to a lawsuit brought by Howard ( a hotel owner in Jaffa and Jerusalem) against Baedeker…£575
France. Nord-Est de La France. de Paris aux Ardennes, aux Vosges et au Rhone.1903.
Issued c. 1903. Description Seventh edition. xxxviii, 360pp, 12 maps, 21 town plans, inner hinges slightly loose, publisher's red cloth gilt; overall a very good copy., published 1903. Bibliography Hinrichsen F176. Stock ID: 95052£30
France. Nord-est de la France. 1908.
Issued c.1908 Description Eighth edition, pp. xxxiv, 433, 12 maps, 30 plans, lacks half title, publisher's red cloth, gilt, overall a very good copy., published 1908. Bibliography Hinrichsen F 177. Stock ID: 95051£30
Switzerland and the adjacent portions of Italy, Savoy, and the Tyrol. 1893.
Issued c.1893. Description Fifteenth edition. xviii, 496pp, 39 maps, 12 plans, 12 panorama, bookseller's label on inside front pastedown, inner hinges slightly loose, publisher's red cloth gilt, slightly marked on spine; a very good firm copy., published 1893. Bibliography Hinrichsen E81. Stock…£40
France. Sud-Ouest La France de La Loire a La Frontière d'Espagne.1906
Issued c.1907.This title covers from Paris to Bordeaux, the Dordorgne and the Pyrenees. Description Eighth edition.pp. xxxviii, 450, 13 maps, 25 town plans, panorama, previous owner's small stamps, a very good bright copy in publisher's red cloth gilt., published 1906 Bibliography Hinrichsen…£35
Italy from the Alps to Naples. 1904.
First edition of this title which was compiled from the three more detailed volumes on Italy. This volume was designed for the tourist in a hurry !. The Plan of the tour provides for a 60-day tour. Issued c.1906. Description…£50
Italy from the Alps to Naples. 1904.
First edition of this title which was compiled from the three more detailed volumes on Italy. This volume was designed for the tourist in a hurry !. The Plan of the tour provides for a 60-day tour. Issued c.1905. Description…£50
France. Sud-Est de La France du Jura a La Méditerranée1906.
Issued c. 1906. Description Eighth edition. xxviii, 436pp, 19 maps, one map frayed at edge, 18 town plans, one panorama; a very good copy in publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering bright., published 1906. Bibliography Hinrichsen F187. Stock ID: 95045£35
Switzerland and the adjacent portions of Italy, Savoy, and Tyrol. 1907.
Issued c.1908. Description Twenty-second edition. xl, 551pp, 69 maps, 18 plans and 11 panoramas; pencilling on endpapers, front map repaired with tape, a very good copy in publisher's red cloth gilt; a very good copy., published 1907. Bibliography Hinrichsen E88. Stock ID:…£30
Hungary. Budapest. 1896
A rare first edition of this unusual handbook. It covers the upper course of the Danube to the Irongate (the famous gorge) and from the Carpathian mountains to the shores of the Adriatic. Maps include a detailed coloured plan of…£150
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