Victorian Cyclist | Cycling through Kent, the Victorian way

Victorian Cyclist | Cycling in KentThe third book from historian Stephen Channing and his wife Shirley, A Victorian Cyclist includes several different rambles cycling through Kent, each beginning in the seaside town of Margate.  Guiding the reader through nearly 500 miles of Kent countryside, this informative text explores a variety of routes that are ideal for the hiker and cyclist alike. A Victorian Cyclist offers a rare and insightful look into the Kentish countryside in 1886; a unique insight into the exploits and experiences of a Victorian cyclist.

Providing detailed historical insight, the narrative offers a comprehensive account of the experiences and discoveries of a Victorian cyclist.   This allows the reader to learn more about the landscape and ecology of the Victorian age, and discover how routes and paths have changed and developed over the years.

Past heroes, characters, and famous residents from the secluded villages and hamlets of the time are brought to life throughout the multiple journeys.

Additional extracts are drawn from contemporary media, putting the Victorian Cyclist’s exploits in context. Conventional attitudes to women’s position in society, the state of the roads and bike design are all here, including a humorous section on The Art of Velocipede Management’. Over two hundred photos and illustrations (most of which are over a hundred years old) complete the reader’s experience.

A Victorian Cyclist co-author, Stephen Channing, comments:

“…When I discovered the first article written by the Victorian cyclist I was struck by the diverse content and attention to detail. After further research, I was astounded to find page after page of rambles, covering hundreds of miles of the Kentish countryside, each as comprehensive as the first. I know readers will enjoy reading about the experiences, people, scenery, villages, buildings, flora and fauna which were so enjoyed by our cyclist in 1886. I wanted to offer historians, genealogists, ecologists et al. the opportunity to discover Kent as it was in Victorian days, from the pen of an articulate and knowledgeable member of society…”

A Victorian Cyclist comes complete with sections from a contemporary copy of an Ordnance Survey Map for Canterbury & East Kent, showing the road system as it was in our cyclist’s time. Modern directions are provided, alongside illustrations and details about some of the history en route, to allow the reader to rediscover these tracks through the eyes of both the modern and the Victorian explorer.

A comprehensive website complements the book, providing modern day maps, photographs, information on the villages visited, and more.

About the authors:

Victorian Cyclist | Cycling in KentStephen and Shirley Channing have been married for nearly 40 years. Stephen comes from the East End of London and Shirley was brought up in Thanet, where they settled to raise their family. While Stephen pursued a degree in Social and Economic History, Shirley worked as regional coordinator for one of the country’s largest charities. During the last few years, they have worked as a team on a series of books about the history of East Kent during the Victorian era, of which this is the third.

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