You may know that I have a fascination for old local guides, and the Black & # 39; s 1901 Buckinghamshire Guide appeared in this column a few months ago.

A few years later, MacMillan Editions introduced their series of county guides entitled "Highways & Byways," and I have editions relating to my two favorite counties – Bucks and Dorset.

That of Bucks, first published in 1910, was written by the famous author Clement Shorter (1857-1926, pictured above) who lived in Great Missenden.

Frederick L. Griggs provided illustrations (rather than photographs) and I included his description of Shelley Cottage alongside Shorter's paragraphs, Shelley, in Marlow's pages.

The Old Parsonage is another illustration of Marlow.

It's a good story of Shelleys' short stay at West Street.

I suppose all the facts are correct, although Mr. Shorter, previously in his pages of Marlow, is mistaken in the date of construction of our suspension bridge, which has not been corrected in later editions.

Strangely, it is an error that can be found in other guides of that time: the bridge was completed in 1832; All Saints Church a few years later.

In addition, Lord Byron actually came to Marlow to appeal to Shelley and Peacock.

Of course, at the moment, Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein is much more read and talked about, rather than the bulky and rather complicated writings of her husband.

Often described as the first work of science fiction, the idea of ​​his classic novel was conceived in Italy, but written in West Street, Marlow.

Elsewhere in Highways & Byways in Buckinghamshire, you will find a complete review of the history of the scented hand of the Apostle Saint James, a precious relic belonging to the Roman Catholic Church St Peter of Marlow.

I will talk about it another time.

Contact Michael on or 01628 486571