At the turn of the (last) century, the world was changing rapidly. Trains were faster, cheaper and more comfortable than ever before. The new craze of bicycling had given men and women unprecedented independence. And the modernisation of telegraphy and the recent invention of the telephone meant that information could be exchanged over huge distances in a mere matter of minutes.
And so a frazzled and harried world was ready for the pioneers in thinking, education and imagination to advise and instruct on the perilous “Age of Hurry”. Passionate thinkers, committed campaigners, they give invaluable guidance for anyone troubled by the rush and bustle of the early century’s information overload.
The books in “Found on the Shelves” have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it.
From essays on dieting in the 1860s to instructions for gentlewomen on trout-fishing, from advice on the ill health caused by the “modern” craze of bicycling to travelogues from Norway, they are as readable and relevant today as they were more than a century ago–even if the exhortation to “never drink beer or spirits” has been widely disregarded!