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Travellers' Hospitality from Cottagers. Large Coaching print.

Travellers' Hospitality from Cottagers. Large Coaching print.

by Pollard, James

‘Cottagers Hospitality to Travellers.. Coach Fast in Snow’ from an engraving by James Pollard, published in 1819 by R. Pollard and Sons. A great night scene with three coachmen wearing fashionable ruffled coats known as Benjamins (named for the original tailor in 1817). Coach passengers may have walked miles after the coach was stuck in snow. The lady seems to have had to be carried after fainting, and is receiving smelling salts to revive her.

Coaching accidents were possible in any weather – axles or wheels might break, toppled by a top-heavy load, a reckless driver or ice on the road. Coachmen were pronounced experienced if they had 'turned a coach' – and could therefore be assumed to know how to right it again. Floods were a major hazard, and snow was nearly as serious and much more frequent. Armed mail guards dreaded snow drifts, as they had to dig out the horse (if not injured) or borrow one from the nearest farm, and go on alone with the mail bags.

No cottage in the country had a room as spacious as this. It is more like a stage setting. The period represented c1820, one of acute rural poverty. The slump after the Napoleonic wars was greatly aggravated by the Enclosures Acts which removed the right to graze cattle, sheep and geese on the village common. Growing industrialization and the move of cottage industries to the cities prevented supplementary earnings by farmers’ wives. Most labourers lived in squalid hovels of one or two rooms with earth floors. Cottages that survive today were among the very best-constructed from the period.

Slight soiling and age-discolouration. Page 51 x 38cm (20 x 15 inches). Image approximately 323 x 468mm (12 3/8 x 18 7/8 inches).

Stock Number: daCoaching9Price: $22.00

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