Travel Guides for the Imagination

Are you planning your summer vacation yet? I may not get much farther than Jellico, Tennessee, for a family reunion or Dallas for the RWA conference, but, thanks to Emily Hendrickson from whom I purchased a fortune of books-literally and figuratively-I have travel guides for the imagination!

My travel destination of choice will always be England, but, alas, not this year. So I’ll content myself with a peek into A Portrait of Georgian London by Fiona St. Aubyn. This book is compiled from The Microcosm of London (1810) and contains illustrations by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson. It was also my most expensive book purchase, but worth every penny because I can really see what these sites in London looked like in the early 1800s. A real treat, however, is looking at the illustration of St. Martins in the Field and seeing that it looked much the same as when Amanda and Julie and I sat in the pew for a concert in 2003. Same with Westminster Abbey!

In my 2005 trip to the UK we traveled a bit into the Lake District, but not nearly deep enough to see what Wordsworth described as “the majesty of the mountains.” I’ll have to content myself with a tour through this book, The Illustrated Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes, edited by Peter Bicknell. It is full of prints of paintings by period artists of the beauty of the Lake District, and photographs that show that the beauty remains just as it had been then. And, of course, there are Wordsworth’s descriptions as well.

My friend Melissa James (Her Outback Knight, July 2008) is presently in Switzerland, far from her Australian home, but she is not so different than the “200 years of English travellers” who visited the tiny country. When I read about Maria Edgeworth in my copy of Southwards to Geneva: 200 years of English Travellers by Mavis Coulson, I’ll be thinking of Melissa and pining to see majestic mountains in Switzerland as well.

Do you have any Vacations-of-the-Imagination planned? How about real vacations? Can any of us beat Kalen’s trip to Morocco?
Think of me in Jellico!

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About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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13 Responses to Travel Guides for the Imagination

  1. Cara King says:

    As for real vacations, I confess I’m off to London and Nice on Wednesday, for two and a half weeks. Todd has a conference in Nice, and some work to do in London, and when he’s free we’ll sightsee, and when he’s not, I’ll putter around by myself.

    (I’m semi-panicking at the moment, trying to figure out the best place to buy good walking shoes that are fit to be seen on the Riviera, and clothes that are respectable yet good for hot weather yet durable yet yada yada yada…) 🙂

    As for vacations of the imagination… Far too many. But the last Pirates movie is still in my mind, so it would probably involve the sea…


  2. Kalen Hughes says:

    Ooooooo, I’m so jealous, Cara! I really, really, really wanted to make it to England and Scotland this year, but instead I’m off to New Zealand.

  3. Lois says:

    I’m doing mine right now. . . I’m watching NASA tv and the spacewalk that’s oing to be happening in a bit. Wish it was me instead of them. LOLOL 🙂


  4. Gee, Lois is “getting spacey”. Kalen’s complaining about just going to New Zealand, and Cara’s planning to putter around in London and Nice.
    …and I’m going to Jellico….

  5. Tracy Grant says:

    svtCara and Kalen, your trips sound amazing! I’m off to Ashland, Oregon for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival later this summer (which opens wonderful vistas through some amazing theater, aside from the fact that Ashland itself is idyllic). Hopefully I’ll get to Britain in the fall or winter. I just went through a bunch of pictures from research trips to England and Scotland for an update of my website and had a great time reliving those trips. I have a box of pictures from research trips I keep on my desk and a couple of albums of more pictures, which makes it easy to disappear into the world of my books.

  6. No Europe for poor me this year. 🙁 I get to go to, er, Dallas. And, as Diane knows, the DC area in August! But the characters in the book I’m researching now go to Sicily, so I’m there in my imagination…

  7. janegeorge says:

    Okay, aren’t the Cats in Jellico famous or something?

    Er, sorry…

    I, too, am only going to Dallas, where I probably won’t venture too far from the hotel.(Longhorn Country…that’s kinda like Bat Country from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but bigger.)

    But I’m thrilled to be getting away from home for a few days.

    My teenage son is going to Germany, Austria, and Italy. He is SO excited that it’s worth it I’m broke.

  8. Cara King says:

    Okay, aren’t the Cats in Jellico famous or something?

    Only those who attend the Jellico Ball.

    And Tracy, I’ve never been to Ashland, but have long thought of going! What are you seeing this time?


  9. Diane, the minute the site came up and I saw the book cover, my first thought was, “Some one is showing off her book acquisitions.”

    Cara, I’ve found clothing by to fit the “chic yet durable” bill rather well. In return for my not sending you hate mail, you’ve got to promise to blog about London and Nice on your return.

    So, Todd do your “conferences” keep “moving” to “interesting” locales, or do you keep getting yourself “invited” to “conferences” in “interesting” locales??


  10. Kalen, are you planning on hiking around the South Island, particularly the Milford Sound area?

    Summer plans are San Diego and Dallas for me, both places which will have sun for ALL the days I’m there, unlike @#*#&@*O#& Seattle. Bah!

  11. Kalen Hughes says:

    I’m not complaining . . . I’m just saying that it’s not a research trip filled with museums, which is what vacations are all about IMO. And no, Kiera, I’m not hiking anywhere, LOL! I imagine I’ll watch my brother surf a little, and maybe take in some sites, but I haven’t been the outdoorsy type since I was an undergrad.

  12. Cara King says:

    Keira, thanks for the clothing tip! And I promise to blog about my trip when I return.


  13. Todd says:

    Keira wrote:

    So, Todd do your “conferences” keep “moving” to “interesting” locales, or do you keep getting yourself “invited” to “conferences” in “interesting” locales??

    Well, it’s a “bit” of “each,” actually. There are many “conferences” out there to which “I ‘could’ go,” so those in “interesting” locales offer an extra “incentive” for me to “go.” But “I” have observed that “‘”conferences”‘” do seem to be in “interesting” locales more often than would seem “statistically likely.” (Go “figure.”)


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