Signpost. Independent guide to pleasant ports of call.
London, Simpkin Marshall Ltd (”trade agent”), March 1937 (third edition).
8vo. 340pp, photo text ills and maps. Original printed boards, cloth spine (spine slightly damaged towards top). Gavin Stamp’s copy, with his booklabel.
An early example of a guide book to British provincial hotels, written for the prosperous car-driving middle-class tourist in a folksy style very redolent of the period (“The lounge with its nooky offshoots viewed through wide openings is a master-piece of comfort-suggesting arrangement … I loved the naked stone walls, the studded oak doors, the colourful blending of good chair covers and curtains, the shining silver and polished tables in the dining room and the extreme cleanliness of everything”). Many of the hotels featured have since gone or have been completely refurbished – which makes the photos of them as of 1937 of interest – but the descriptions given of such long-established hotels as the Montagu Arms in Beaulieu more or less chime in with what is visible today.