Ref Number: 00478
Ref Number: 00478
Gloster Sheridan’s Guide to The Isle of Wight provides a comprehensive overview of the Island and its surroundings during the year 1832. This literary work offers not only a comprehensive examination of historical and geographical aspects, but also evokes a genuine sense of immersion as one delves into this captivating chronicle of everyday life in the region.
As one advances through the book, it becomes evident that it is enhanced by a series of aesthetically pleasing engravings depicting several perspectives of the island at the approximate period of 1832. The majority of the engravings are believed to have been executed by an individual identified as G. Barclay. Not all of these have been signed, therefore making it challenging to assign them at this current level.
As the text progresses, the author initiates a narrative that guides the reader on a comprehensive exploration of each town and hamlet encircling the Isle in a circular manner. This narrative imparts insights into anticipated experiences, recommended attractions and activities, as well as optimal dining and lodging options.
One of Sheridan’s primary aims was to enhance the visibility and reputation of tourism, as well as the diverse range of hotels situated along the route. This enabled him to generate income from both landlords and company owners, while also serving as an effective means of promoting his own facility, known as “Sheridan’s Boarding House,” located in Ryde.
The initial boarding house situated on Union Street, presently housing the Ladbrokes betting store, is believed to have been constructed around in 1802. This establishment stood in direct proximity to Robert Yelf’s recently established firm, Yelf’s hotel, which was finished in 1901. Sheridan’s boarding house, during its time, possessed a considerable size and extended to Union Road, offering magnificent, if maybe embellished, vistas of the Solent.
The advertisement seen on page 36, which has been subject to much exploitation, coupled with the accompanying pull-out engraved photograph of the business, effectively illustrates Sheridan’s intended purpose in creating the “travel guide.”
Scattered throughout the text are some intriguing and captivating annotations of significance. One of the pages included in the document, which is not there in the Google PDF scan, is a detachable sheet that provides a record of the population as of May 30th, 1831. The webpage provides a comprehensive description of the surveyed towns and villages, including information on population size, gender distribution, kinds of residences, specific age groups, and the generic occupational categories of agriculture, commerce, wholesale, and service. From an analytical perspective, this paper provides intriguing insights on the geographical distribution and living conditions of the 35,363 inhabitants. One notable observation is that a significant proportion of the population, around 5%, which equates to 1500 individuals, were engaged in service-related occupations.ce.
“The Sales Pitch”
“From the admirable situation of the house, it commands the most extensive and interesting view, comprising Anglesea, Stoke’s Bay, Portsmouth with its Harbour, Spithead, Chichester Cathedral, Hayling Island, Selsey Bill, &c.”
At the end of the publication there is a lovely example of one of politest adverts I have ever read. “Those Tradesmen of Ryde, Cowes, Newport and Yarmouth who may wish to avail themselves of the opportunity afforded in the Edition for the next year, of inserting their Cards of Address, will communicate their intentions on or before the 1st March 1833.”