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A brilliantly entertaining and authoritative history of two centuries of British tourism in continental Europe

About the Author

Lucy Lethbridge has written for a number of publications and is also the author of several children's books, one of which, Who Was Ada Lovelace?, won the 2002 Blue Peter Award for non-fiction. She is the author of Spit and Polish (2016) and Servants, published to critical acclaim in 2013. She lives in London.


A sparkling mosaic ... In six gloriously colourful chapters, Lethbridge explores everything from guidebooks to souvenirs, retelling these first tourists' tales with gleeful relish. -- Dominic Sandbrook * The Sunday Times *
Delightful ... witty ... Lucy Lethbridge has written a glorious romp of a book, expertly researched. She has skilfully marshalled her teeming cast of British eccentrics as they tiptoe into foreign parts. For anyone stuck in an airport, or sitting it out on a staycation, this is an inspired choice for your holiday reading. -- Kathryn Hughes * The Mail on Sunday *
I really can't recommend Lucy Lethbridge's new book on the history of tourism enough - especially if you are going on holiday. -- Tom Holland
So much varied research has contributed to this excellent book that it is a treasure-trove of many more significant facts than one can cite. -- Gillian Tindall * Literary Review *
Pleasingly nerdy ... Lethbridge is as good on the sketchbook-carrying Victorians as she is on the Caravan Club of sturdy mobile homeowners. -- Caroline Eden * Financial Times *
Absorbing ... Lethbridge is an engaging guide, charting with wit and a wealth of sources everything from the Victorian Nordic craze to changing attitudes to sun and sea -- Mary Miers * Country Life *
A fascinating study of the emergence of the UK's travel industry, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars through to the package holiday boom and on to the Instagram era, taking in tour guides and guide books along the way. Lethbridge casts a canny, sharp eye on the British traveller's often-misguided perceptions of both themselves and their hosts. * Wanderlust Magazine *
Enjoyable ... Lethbridge, a percipient social observer and deep thinker, is a good guide to the whole story. She has read everything there is to read on the subject. She has a breezy tolerance of the 'British know-nothings', blundering over formerly beautiful sites with their guidebooks and their ignorance of European languages and culture ... She is especially funny on water cures and hydropathy ... She is kindly, and amused, when describing the quest for the picturesque. -- A.N. Wilson * The Oldie *
Filled with little gems -- Jack Blackburn * The Times Diary *
Lucy Lethbridge's warmth and wit make her the perfect tour guide to the intriguing history of the British abroad. * Lucasta Miller *
Full of human interest and fresh insights, Tourists offers a wonderfully enjoyable account of one of the defining phenomena of the past two centuries. * David Kynaston *
To write well about the attempts of the British to enjoy themselves in that fraught territory 'abroad', you need a sense of the ridiculous, an eye for the poignant, the ability to leaven a mass of date with wit. In Tourists, Lucy Lethbridge ticks all the boxes. * Andrew Martin *
Praise for SERVANTS: Glorious ... Servants is full of eyebrow-raising and laughter-inducing vignettes. But what is most fascinating is Lethbridge's account of the dark side of the master-servant relationship. * Daily Telegraph *
Beautifully written, sparkling with insight, and a pleasure to read, Servants is social history at its most humane and perceptive. In broad terms the world Lethbridge describes is a familiar one, but she nails it all down with the kind of detail that still has the power to astonish, outrage or amuse * Times Literary Supplement *
An enthralling social history of the past century, told through the eyes of those who served ... Here, the voices of servants and home helpers, largely ignored by history, are brought to life. And what a life! ... The book is full of fascinating titbits ... Lethbridge shows that the history of life below stairs is just as interesting as the story of life above them * Tatler *

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