Philobiblon: Find your carrier ...

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Find your carrier ...

... at which inn?

A useful website (via the 18th-century list) about routes out of London.

It sent me off to one of my favourite browse-reads, The English Garner: Ingatherings from Our History and Literature, Edward Arber, 1879, 8 vols, in which I'm sure I've read one of the sources for these routes, although it seems not in Vols I-III or VIII, the ones I own. (I'm trying to collect the rest.)

Who says speculative history is a new idea? I've just been checking out Sir Walter Raleigh's view on "Could the Romans have resisted Alexander? The Englishman a better warrior than either Macedonian or Roman," from his History of the World.

He concludes that he would "prefer that army, which followed not only PHILIP and ALEXANDER but also ALEXANDER'S princes after him, in the greatest dangers of all sorts of war; before any that Rome either had or, in long time after, did send forth". (Vol I, p. 67)

But, of course, an Englishman is certainly a better warrior than either: "For it will soon appear to any that shall examine the noble acts of out Nation in war, that they were performed to no advantage of weapon; against no savage or unmanly people; the enemy being far superior unto us in number and all needful provision; yea, as well trained as we, or commonly better, in the exercise of war."(p. 68)

I suppose that was probably true at the time (the Garner dates this to "before 1611"), although certainly not in the three centuries after!

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