File Name Clarke1787
Call Number DA 670 L1 C6 1787
Title A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire: Together with an Account, Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive, of the Adjacent Country. To Which Is Added, a Sketch of the Border Laws and Customs. By James Clarke, Land-Surveyor.
Short Title A Survey
Series Title
Title Page Quotation "In longum tamen diem / Manserunt, hodieque manent vestigia ruris." Horace Ep. I. Lib. ii.
Dedication To His Royal Highness Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland and Strathern, Earl of Dublin, Ranger of Windsor Great Park, Admiral of the Blue Squadron, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Grand Master, &c. &c. &c. The Right Honourable Thomas Howard, Earl of Effingham, Lord Howard, Acting Grand Master; Sir Peter Parker Baronet, Deputy Grand Master; The Grand Wardens, Past and Present Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of England, and Brethren of the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons: this book is humbly dedicated, by their most obedient brother and servant, James Clarke.
Imprint London: Printed for the Author, and sold by him at Penrith, Cumberland; also by J. Robson and J. Faulder, New [missing] Street; P. W. Fores, No. 3, Piccadilly; the Engraver, S. J. Neele, 352, Strand, London. -- L. Bull and [missing] Shall, Bath; Rose and Drury, Lincoln; Todd, Stonegate, York, Ware and Son, Whitehaven; C[missing] Edinburgh; and most other Booksellers in the Kingdom. 1787. (Entered in Stationers-Hall, according to Act of Parliament.)
Edition 1
Publication Date 1787
Volumes 1
Pages 235
Copies 1
SFU Catalogue Original Bibliography xlii, 193 p. : front., ill., fold. maps; 26 x 44 cm. Rebound quarter calf, marbled boards.
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Critical Annotation

James Clarke was a land surveyor who lived in Penrith where he owned two inns. He collected information for the Survey during trips to the lakes in 1784 and 1786–7 (Bicknell 45). His Survey of the Lakes guides visitors to views that best reflect the “taste of the times” (xxxv). Included maps detail routes from Penrith to Ullswater and Keswick, from Keswick to Ambleside, and around the lakes of Ullswater, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Thirlmere, Rydal, and Windermere. Clarke’s descriptions borrow heavily from existing Lake District guides, touching on a wide range of topics, including war, art, religion, landscape, and even weather patterns. Clarke’s interest in language is also clear: in the introduction, he develops a theory on the fluidity of language, and elsewhere in the work he includes transcriptions of legends, ballads, poems, and dialect samples. In the introduction, he expresses the hope that his work will provide a foundation for future research (xlii).

Bicknell calls Clarke’s text a “refreshing counterblast to picturesque writing” and notes that Clarke was quick to criticize contemporaries, even as he borrowed from them (9). Not everyone appreciated this “counterblast,” though; mapmaker Peter Crosthwaite “extensively annotated” his copy “with bitterly critical allegations of lies, inventions, distortions and inaccuracies” (Bicknell 46). Nonetheless, the Survey was influential: a footnote to William Wordsworth’s poem “An Evening Walk” refers to the description of an apparition in the Survey. The connection between Clarke and Wordsworth is made even stronger by Clarke’s own use of the term “evening walk” in a Survey section referencing Dr. Brown and Thomas Gray (72).

While the book seems to have been intended as a guide, its large size would have made it difficult to carry on a walking tour. The SFU LDC copy has irregular pagination, and some pages are cut shorter than others. The title page is damaged and appears to be glued onto another paper, and tears in some of the maps have been repaired with tape. There is a price of “£550” written in pencil on the inside front cover.

Format Folio
Plate Count 2
Map Count 11
Illustrations None
Photographs None
Tables No
Binding Colour marbled
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