Tallis's Topographical Dictionary - A Gazetteer of Wales
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Title Pages and Preface
The title pages from Tallis's Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales are shown below, together with editor E. L. Blanchard's preface.
HOWEVER ambitious the design, and however extensive the resources of former labourers in the same field of topographical literature, it will be seen that difficulties stood in the way of a satisfactory completion of their project which have only lately been removed. The entire change effected by the Railway system throughout the kingdom has not only rendered quite obsolete former references to then existing modes of intercommunication, but has expanded villages into towns, and called into existence hundreds of places which, in several instances, were not known, even by name, a few years ago. Now that the various lines of railway have assumed something like a permanent form, and the increase of buildings has become better adjusted to the requirements of the population, a work that faithfully recognises and records these important alterations may fairly claim to have decided advantages over its predecessors.
In the following pages will be found fully described the past history and present aspect of every place of any significance in England and Wales, forming a work of permanent importance to the commercial world, of ready service to the tourist of the day, and of constant interest to the general reader, who may derive from this source a large supply of entertainment, as well as of information for the amusement and instruction of a leisure hour.
The obvious utility of an undertaking of this kind must render any attempt to heighten its importance altogether superfluous. Every care has been taken to render. this the most accurate, complete, and comprehensive Topographical Dictionary that has yet appeared; and it is confidently believed that as such it will be recognised by the public, and be regarded as a valuable addition to those indispensable works of reference which it is the characteristic of the present age to supply.
The object which the Editor has kept steadily in view throughout, has been to blend with the dry details of statistical information that must necessarily be preserved in volumes of this description, those lighter graces of local legends and interesting associations, which, without increasing the bulk of the book, or detracting from its value as a repository of facts, might give its pages additional attractions. All that could assist in conveying a correct knowledge of the scenery, the antiquities, and the manufactures of England and Wales, viewed with equal reference to the picturesque and the commercial features of the country, will be found to have been carefully comprised within convenient limits, and it is only necessary to add that the immense mass of information collected has been derived in every instance from the best and latest authorities, accredited by recent personal observation.
By an arrangement peculiar to this work it will be seen that the tabular division affords unusual facilities for obtaining at a glance the particular kind of information sought, whilst in the descriptive portion the eye is directly guided by a marginal reference to the nature of the context. When time, of which travellers so peculiarly know the value, is of consequence, this will not pass unappreciated.
The accompanying maps have been based on the authority of the last Ordnance Survey, and from this the various measurements have been carefully computed by a gentleman of long experience in such calculations. The useful enumeration of the various distances may be therefore relied upon with confidence.
The Editor trusts, in conclusion, that the work will be found worthy of taking a prominent position in every library, and possess a national interest as a compendious record of the unrivalled beauties of the scenery and exhaustless extent of the resources of that country which secures the love and justifies the pride of every, Englishman.