Advertisement

Hilarious travel journal from 1870s could sell for thousands

A newly-discovered 150-year-old Victorian travel journal has been compared to film Trains, Planes and Automobiles thanks to its dry humour.

Holiday Rambles - Scotland 1876 South Wales 1877, penned by John George Freeman of Regent Street, London, documents his tour of Britain.

He describes a multitude of incidents including nights disturbed by a donkey, cock, cat and drunks and a singer whose voice left him unable to disguise his agony.

Such is the entertainment value, a books expert believes the forgotten tome is worthy of a Michael Portillo-style TV travel series - and could spark a bidding war.

It's set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on 7 March with a guide price of £4,000-£5,000.

Freeman and his two brothers explored Scotland and Wales, the latter being where the journal was discovered.

Jim Spencer, head of books and works on paper at Hansons, said: "As soon as I started flicking through the pages I was reminded of Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys TV series which was inspired by George Bradshaw's Handbook to Rail Travel.

"But I was quickly swept along by the comedy of the author's peevishness - it's actually closer to the brilliant John Hughes film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

The manuscript was gifted to a Hay-on-Wye cafe owner by her father 20 years ago - who loves the book due to the care with which it was written.

She said: "Who wouldn't love it? It's so beautifully done. The time it must have taken to put it together! Not a single error over all those pages. I've always loved handwriting and this is immaculate stylish and incredible."

John George Freeman's travel journal will be offered in Hansons Auctioneers' Library Auction on 7 March.