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Handbook of Travel

Handbook of Travel. Prepared for the Harvard Travellers’ Club.

Edited by George Cheever Shattuck. Second edition, revised and enlarged. 510 pages. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935.

Unstinted praise is due to the Harvard Travellers’ Club for its enterprise in bringing out this new and enlarged edition of the “Handbook,” first published in 1917 and long out of print. Its purpose is to afford the prospective traveller a wide range of up-to-date information while planning his expedition and to provide a compact vade mecum for use in the field. It is a composite of some thirty articles written by thirty-nine authors, all of whom are Americans, comprised under four general headings : Methods of Travel (163 pages); Camping (64 pages); Recording and Collating (158 pages) ; Hygiene, Medicine and Surgery (110 pages). In scope it is world-wide, embracing the tropical, polar and Asiatic fields. Space will allow citation of only a few of the special topics covered : the use of aeroplanes and automobiles in exploratory work, travel with dromedaries and llamas, outboard motors, poisonous and edible plants, camp cooking, foods, photography (42 pages) and anthropology (26 pages).

The section on mountaineering summarizes the fundamentals of the craft and comprises the only primer of this kind in American literature.

One cannot forbear comparing the “Handbook” with its English equivalent, “Hints to Travellers,” published by the Royal Geographical Society in two volumes and widely known and used by explorers for the past forty years. The two works are, in great measure, complementary, the English publication being more detailed in mathematical formulæ, logarithmic tables, etc., while the present book predominates perhaps in the vitally practical information the traveller needs in advance of his field work. Both cull out from the lore of many diverse sciences, the facts most pertinent to the explorer.

The volume is compact in format, well printed and indexed and exceedingly readable. It should be included in the kit of every big-game hunter, camper and traveller in the far places of the earth.


[To the reviewer, Mr. Palmer, goes the credit for the admirable section on mountaineering.—Ed.]