First published in London by Methuen & Co., in 1903 and republished here in fully-searchable electronic format is Arthur L. Salmon's Cornwall issued as part of Methuen's 'The Little Guides' series. Containing some 290 printed pages Cornwall is not a guide book in the traditional sense, but more a topographical dictionary of the places of Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. Arthur Leslie Salmon was born in 1865 and became renowned as a music critic, a poet - many of his poems were put to music by the likes of Elgar - lover of literature and author of many travel guides, notably those concentrating on the west country. In collaboration with the artist B. C. Boulter, Salmon set out to produce a 'satisfactory guide book' for the county he undoubtedly loved beyond all other and in this he intended to include notices on the architecture, history, legend, lore and science of a county unlike any other in England. Indeed, on his travels through the length and breadth of Cornwall, Salmon believed that Cornwall, with its distinct and separate language had more in common with Wales, Ireland and Brittany than it did with the likes of Surrey and Sussex. Messrs Methuen's aim for their Little Guides series was to produce travel literature in a form that was 'handing and charming', had artistic merit, with good plans and maps recording everything of interest in the natural features, history, archaeology and architecture of the county on which they treated and each of the the counties represented in The Little Guides series followed a set formula: these were introduced with a general description of the county 'its situation, physical features, flora and fauna, climate, inhabitants, industries, history and archaeology'. This section was followed by an alphabetical account of all the chief places and towns of interest in the county and as such this section is more akin to a topographical dictionary than it is to a more-traditional guide book. With no information in hotels and places to stay and no route maps for the tourist Cornwall and the other counties featured in the Little Guides series are not practical guide books, but they do contain wonderful descriptions of the counties on which they treat. Cornwall is introduced by a general physical description of the county as well as descriptions of its flora and fauna, population and communications, mining fisheries, history, antiquities, traditions and folklore, language and dialect before concluding with a section on famous Cornish personalities. There follows the bulk of the publication, the alphabetical description of the chief places of interest in the county. Beginning with Advent and ending with Zennor and a separate section on the Scilly Isles, this portion of Cornwall forms the bulk of the publication taking-up some 230 of the 290 pages. Fully-indexed and wonderfully illustrated, Cornwall, although not a travel guide, is a fascinating and extremely useful dictionary of the chief places of interest in this unique county.
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