Book web site: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/35027
Project Gutenberg 1910?
Date finished: 2010-12-28
This is a collection of Victorian-era pieces and cartoons from Punch about train travel, which made amusing reading for my Metro rides. Some of the jokes are completely opaque now, depending on some peculiarity of accent or reference to social class, but I was entertained by how many of the complaints and jokes are easily transposed to modern train travel, or to airline travel: forgetting where you put your ticket, mysterious delays with no explanation, bad food for sale, garbled announcements you can't understand, irritation by your fellow passengers, lost luggage, etc. Trains of the time also had a poor safety record -- boilers would explode, a fast-moving express might hit a slow train that was on the wrong track -- and there are jokes about that, too. You could even buy accident insurance in the station before your trip, much as you can buy air-crash insurance today.
(My Christmas acquisition of a Sony Reader made me want to take up the Smooth Reading phase of Distributed Proofreading. This is simply reading straight through an electronic text, noting any problems or errors and reporting them to the project manager for the book. This is the first book I've read for PGDP; I'll note the publisher of this and future books as "Project Gutenberg", and when possible link to the URL for the book.)
%T Mr Punch's Railway Book %A May, Phil %K transportation, humour %D 1910? %I Project Gutenberg %U http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/35027 %@ 2010-12-28