The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices Find!
In Neil Curry's book 'The Cumberland Coast' he mentions a visit to Cumbria by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. This intrigued me so I located a copy of the book which they wrote - thank you Carlisle Library - and set forth on 'The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices'.
In 1857 Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins decided to take a short holiday together. As Dickens describes it to a friend it was to be an "expedition to out-of-the-way places. Our decision is for a foray upon the fells of Cumberland; I have discovered in the books some promising moors and bleak places thereabouts." The result was 'The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices', his little-known Cumbrian travel book.
Although only a short book there is a definite feeling of north-south divide as the two travellers venture away from London. There is a real feeling of travelling to the bleak wilderness of the north away from home comforts and conveniences. However they do manage to poke fun at themselves in the description of a climb up Carrock Fell. Inevitably it rains, inevitably the mist comes down, and inevitably they get lost. Their guide, the local innkeeper, admits he hasn't been up there in years and they begin to wonder whether there isn't better walking to be had in London " where there are nice short walks in level public gardens, with benches of repose set up at convenient distances for weary travellers." And then Wilkie Collins trips and sprains his ankle and is crippled. They do manage to get back to the inn and decide to head for the coast and the little town of Allonby which at the time was the most popular watering-place of the elite of Cumberland. However Wilkie Collins wonders whether a watering-place could really consist of "five gentlemen in straw hats, on a form on one side of a door, and four ladies in hats and falls, on a form on another side of a door, and three geese in a dirty little brook.....and a donkey running away." This donkey proved to be the chief public excitement at Allonby - it was always running away - that they later wonder if it wasn't supported at public expense for the entertainment of visitors.
I'm sure today's visitors would find plenty to enjoy in and around Allonby even without a 'running away' donkey although I can't guarantee if you take a walk up Carrock Fell that you won't get caught in the wind and the mist as Anne (one of the group) discovered last Sunday when she went for a walk up that particular hill!
17 August 2009 from Mary Rossall
- On Lindale Hill
- Grange-over-Sands: The Story of a Gentle Township
- The Silent Traveller: A Chinese Artist in Lakeland
- Red Ike
- Cumbrian Privies
- Ethel Fisher's West Cumbrian Dialect titles
- The Embalmer's Book of Recipes by Ann Lingard
- Nella Last's Peace
- Riding the Stang by Dawn Robertson
- Life on the Fell - a pictorial chronicle of a Lakeland community
- About Scout Scar
- William Wilberforce - A Summer Diary 1779
- Beatrix Potter - the unknown years
- Smoke over Shap by Margaret Potter
- Songs of a Cragsman by George Basterfield
- The Grasmere Dialect Plays
- The Grizedale Experience: Sculpture, Art & Theatre in a Lakeland Forest
- An Atlas of The English Lakes
- How Hall. Poetry and Memories. A Passion for Ennerdale by Tom Rawling
- Stumpy, Hero of the Lakes
- The High Places by A. Harry Griffin
- The Highest House in Wathendale
- Kendal by Roger Bingham
- Secrets and Legends of Old Westmorland
- Reminiscences of Wordsworth Among the Peasantry of Westmorland by Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley
- Little Gods by Jacob Polley
- A Lakeland Summer
- Hunter of Harter Fell by Joseph E Chipperfield
- And Nobody Woke Up Dead
- An accessible paradise
- The Fleming Family novels and Graham Sutton
- Excursion to Loweswater. A Lakeland Visit 1865
- Writing on the Wall
- Beyond Scafell by Alan Robinson
- Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole
- Kendal In The Nineteenth Century by A Wainwright
- In There Somewhere
- The Bondwomen by W G Collingwood
- "Ah'd Gaa Back Tomorra!"
- A Cumbrian Copper by Ray Huddart
- The Arsenic Labyrinth by Martin Edwards
- Old Will Stories by Dudley Hoys
- The Shield Ring by Rosemary Sutcliff
- T'Bacca Queen by Theodora Wilson Wilson
- Furness and the Industrial Revolution
- The Shadow of Black Combe
- The Painted Letters of Percy Kelly
- Ivver Sen
- Lakeland in the 1830s
- Wasdale Climbing Book By Michael Cocker
- Riding High by Barbara Sneyd
- Deborah in Langdale
- Early Recollections of Grange
- Hazard's Way by Roger Hubank
- Yan, Tan, Tethera
- Talk of the Town
- Capturing the Mountains
- Hope On, Hope Ever
- Mildred Edwards: Our City Our People 1889 - 1978 Memories
- Lakeland Limericks
- Surrounding loveliness
- Haweswater by Sarah Hall
- Coast to Coast by Jan Minshull
- Sunshine To The Sunless
- Geese, cattle wallopers and secret Irish paths
- Anarchists, Angels and wet Bank Holiday Mondays
- A more unconventional kind of find...?
- Skiddaw Summit by Kathleen Jones
- Thorstein of the Mere: A Saga of the Northmen in Lakeland
- Wednesday Early Closing
- Smoke Across The Fell
- The Sand Pilot of Morecambe Bay
- The Chronicles of Boggerthwaite
- Carrock Fell
- Feet in the Clouds
- Hercules and the Farmer's Wife
- Shepherd's Warning
- The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices
- I've been so busy reading I haven't had time to blog!
- Reading Detectives film
- Thank you!
- Coffee and books at the Bluebell Bookshop
- Mary learns to blog!
- Lucky 13!
- Grange over Sands get reading
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