The Travellers' Tales - Exeter
(Todd Gray) £12.99
(ISBN 1-903356-00-8 )
This book contains five centuries of travellers' accounts (drawn from journals, diaries & letters) of the city previously know as the 'Metropolis of the West'. Some accounts are only a few dozen sentences while other run to several thousand words. There are well-known writers of Exeter such as Daniel Defoe, Fanny Burney and Celia Fiennes, and some surprises such as George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, and other who quietly visited unaware that their private thoughts would be publicly read generations later. A lengthy introduction provides the national context and, where known, biographical details are provided for each traveller.
The book is the outcome of a search through the country's archives and libraries for travel journals; many of which have not been published and others have long been out of print. The accounts show the city's changes over the last 500 years as well as perceptions of it. Not all are favourable but each contributes to our understanding and appreciation of Exeter.