Cheltenham: A Pictorial History (Pictorial history series) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1996
by Steven Blake (Author)
CHELTENHAM is well-known for its Regency architecture, parks and gardens, festivals, races and GCHQ. This book traces its entire history, from Domesday manor to medieval market town, through its 18th and 19th century heyday as a fashionable spa and residential centre, to its present-day roles in light industry, administration, education and tourism. The town’s story is told through a concise and very readable narrative plus nearly two hundred fully captioned illustrations – from the 1740s to the 1980s. Early views of the timbered houses and narrow lanes of the ancient town contrast with 19th-century pictures of the fine houses and tree-lined avenues that sprang up during Cheltenham’s years as a spa. Another contrast is between the lives of the ‘two nations’ – the wealthy and privileged relaxing at the spa wells, the assembly rooms and the theatre, while the less well-off worked long hours in service, retailing, building or the manufacture of clothing, furniture and carriages. This book looks, perceptively and entertainingly, at the lives of its people, over the centuries, at work and at play, in peace and in war. Dr. Blake’s book will be warmly welcomed by residents and visitors alike.