Gloucestershire - New for 2022
‘He Went About doing Good’ by David Elder
The life of Dr Edward Thomas Wilson of Cheltenham has never before been told. Overshadowed both by his son, the Antarctic explorer who perished with Captain Scott at the South Pole, and his brother, renowned for his heroic attempt to rescue General Gordon at Khartoum, his story is intriguingly complex. A municipal pioneer of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, he instigated modern medical practices, such as isolation fever hospitals, district nursing and clean drinking water. A supporter of science and art he opened the museum which now bears his family’s name, and promoted libraries and the local School of Art. A founder of the local camera club (the sixth oldest in the country) he pioneered photomicrography as an amateurs’ pursuit, and contributed to numerous associations, not least as President of the Cheltenham Natural Science Society. ‘No man has done so much as he to stimulate and promote the intellectual life of the town’ proclaimed one of his obituaries in 1918, while the epitaph on his gravestone reads simply, ‘He went about doing good’. Drawing on previously unpublished material and sources, this is the first in-depth biography of one of life’s ‘quiet’ heroes. January 2022, xiv, 276pp, illustrated (some colour) paperback, £15.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-25-3.
The Grand Tour Diaries of William Guise, from Lausanne to Rome edited by Paul and Jane Butler
William Guise, later Sir William Guise, 5th Baronet of Elmore, travelled in Switzerland and Italy in 1764 in the company of Edward Gibbon, the historian. Two journals chronicling in great detail the first part of their tour, from Lausanne to Florence, Rome and other Italian cities, and the cultural sites and artefacts that they saw, have survived in the archives of Elmore Court, Gloucestershire, which was the Guise family home. Despite their historic and cultural interest, there has until now been no full transcription of these journals (totalling 83,000 words) apart from some references to them in an edition of Gibbon's diaries. As well as perceptive comments and opinions on the architecture, statues, pictures and other works of art which they saw, there are extensive references to military matters and fortifications; to the politics and governance of the towns of Northern Italy and to travel and lodging issues. The journals illustrate the serious nature of the Grand Tour as undertaken by Guise and his better known travelling companion, Edward Gibbon. March 2022, xviii, 190pp, illustrated (some colour) hardback, £19.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-30-7.