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Findlay Muirhead (Ed.) The Blue Guide – Ireland, 1932

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First published in London by Ernest Benn Ltd., in 1932 and republished her in fully-searchable electronic format in the Blue Guide to Ireland, edited by Findlay Muirhead. Containing 386 printed pages with a complete atlas of Ireland and 13 addition maps and plans, the Blue Guides have set the standard for independent travellers since they were first published in 1918. The quality of the Blue Guides is witnessed by the fact that they are published to this day with the most recent edition being a reissue of the Blue Guide to Northern Italy. Findlay Muirhead together with his brother James began their careers as the English language editors for Karl Baedeker's travel books, compiling editions for Britain, Canada and America. The Muirheads worked for Baedeker's for almost thirty years before becoming unemployed due to the outbreak of WWI. However, in 1915 they acquired the rights to John Murray's handbooks and in the same year established their company, Muirhead's Guidebooks Ltd. After agreement with the French publishing House of Hachette who published Guides Bleus, the Muirheads issued the first of the Blue Guide in 1918 to London & its Environs. Compiled from the experience of the writer, L. R. Muirhead who travelled several thousand miles across the length and breadth of Ireland, the Blue Guide to Ireland differed from those that the Muirheads had previously published, in as much as it was organised by routes and tours taken by road rather than rail. While the editor opined that Ireland was coming to the forefront as a field for the pleasure-traveller, its rail system prevented a thorough exploration of all of the delights that this 'motorist's paradise' had to offer. Beginning with an introduction outlining the history and antiquities of Ireland as well as a glossary of Irish place names and notes on the Irish language, the Blue Guide to Ireland then presents detailed information on many aspects of travel in Ireland ranging from money, to hotels, to rails travel, postal information and more than ten pages of angling. From here Blue Guide is divided into four sections arranging itineraries for the independent travel in the four provinces of Ireland. Most of the itineraries radiated from central basis, that of the province of Leinster includes many routes starting in Dublin, Ulster starting in Belfast and so on. The Blue Guide to Ireland provides the itineraries for forty-eight separate routes. Each is fully-referenced with details on distances, places to stay, costs, references to maps and atlases that are included in the publication as well as interesting observations and descriptions on what the traveller could expect to see The Blue Guides are an excellent travelling companion whether the travel is conducted from the comfort of ones armchair, by car or by rail and the detail afforded the tourist then as now is incomparable and this, the first edition of the Blue Guide to Ireland is no exception. 

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