THE want of a trustworthy modern work of reference on the topography of our own country is one that has long been felt and frequently expressed, and the issue, in 1893, of the completed results of the tenth census of England and Wales appears to afford the most appropriate occasion for supplying it With that object the "COMPREHENSIVE GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND AND WALES" has been projected, and it has been the aim of the publisher to make it the most trustworthy and practically useful work of the kind, whether to the resident or the traveller, to the man of business or the man of leisureto all, in short, who have any relations with their fellow-countrymen, and who take an interest in the wonderful development of their native country in the closing decade of the nineteenth century.
The information which the body of the work contains has been collected during a number of years by an experienced staff of compilers under the editorship of Mr. J. H. F. BRABNER, F.R.G.S. The articles on the more important cities and towns have, to secure the utmost attainable accuracy, been written on the spot, while the smaller articles, numbering of necessity many thousands, have, as a precaution against the risk of error, been submitted to local authorities qualified to check or verify the information they contain.
In selecting this information, particular attention has been paid to its practical value. The distances from the nearest railway stations and from London, or the nearest large town, are noted, and special attention has been given to the postal and telegraphic connections of the places described, latest information on which is very often hurriedly sought for, and only obtained, if at all, after much loss of time and trouble. Prominence has been given to the latest statistics relating to education, commerce, shipping, manufactures, and agriculture, the figures in every case being obtained from the latest official reports, while the areas of the parishes, &c., are from the latest returns of the Ordnance Survey department. The great railways, canals, reservoirs, and other engineering works with which the prosperity of our country is so intimately associated, necessarily receive particular notice.
The populations given are the finally corrected results of the census of 1891, and where the municipal and parliamentary limits of cities and towns, or the boundaries of civil and ecclesiastical parishes of the same name are not identical, the population of each area is stated. The churches, livings, &c., in the various parishes are the subjects of special reference, as are likewise any objects of interest to the historian or the archaeologist, noblemen's and gentlemen's seats, &c., &c.
The illustrations, which in a work of this description are not second in importance to the text, will include a series of full-page etchings of typical examples of the scenery of England and Wales, and a series of maps of all the counties, specially reduced from the Ordnance Survey for this work by Mr. F. S. WELLER, F.R.G.S., and printed in colours to show with the utmost clearness their present political divisions. Such a series is of great practical value in a work of reference, as it enables the map of any district to be readily referred to under the name of the county, which necessarily appears in its alphabetical order. In these maps, besides the natural features of the country, such as mountains, rivers, lakes, and estuaries, prominence is given to the main roads, railways, and canals, which form the means of communication and highways of commerce. The series is supplemented by street plans, printed in colours and on an enlarged scale, of the principal cities and towns, and by a general map of England and Wales.
The work will be completed in six volumes, handsomely bound in cloth, gilt tops, price ten shillings each, net.