This rather charming book, from 1857, is the first edition of the comic autobiography of a Scottish ‘packman’, or commercial traveller, whose travels around the British Isles include a sighting of Queen Victoria at Braemar Castle, and a visit to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The author was born in 1819, in very modest circumstances, and at the age of eight he was sent to earn his living as a ‘weaver’s drawboy’. He appears to have become a travelling salesman when he was about 13. The exact nature of his wares is never specified, but the text includes many references to various aspects of Paisley, where the book was published.
This is just one of the books I shall be exhibiting at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair later this week.