The Birth Of Caravanning.

Gordon Stables

The Cruise of the Land Yacht "Wanderer"; or, Thirteen Hundred Miles in my Caravan.

Published: Hodder and Stoughton


London: Hodder and Stoughton 1886. With mounted photographic Frontispiece, eight full page illustrations and Numerous other smaller illustrations throughout the text. Previous owner's book plate. Three newspaper clippings dating from the 1960s when the 'Wanderer' was being refurbished prior to entered the National Motor Museum pasted in (does not affect text). Bound in green cloth, with gilt lettering on spine and front cover illustration. Together with a copy of, STABLES, Gordon. A Souvenir of the "Wanderer" Caravan: A Facsimile of the edition of 1895. Np [London]: [The Caravan Club] [1964]. Apart from the new one page introduction this is as it claims an exact facsimile 1895 edition, including illustrations and selected adverts personally endorsed by Stables. Original illustrated wrappers. Fine copy, as issued

"The Cruise of the Land Yacht 'Wanderer'" by Gordon Stables was the first book published on caravanning. In 1880 Stables engaged the Bristol Wagon Works Company to build a horse-drawn caravan which he named The Wanderer. This new caravan was not designed as a shelter for people who lived and worked on the road unlike the vans used by Romany Gypsies, travelling showmen, salesmen and labourers. The Wanderer was unique in being the first caravan designed and custom-made for the purpose of leisure travel. She was beautifully manufactured in mahogany and maple wood with black and gold decorations, housing everything a Victorian gentleman would need on tour from cooking equipment to musical instruments. Most importantly this luxurious caravan offered its owner a means of escape into the great outdoors and an opportunity to explore the countryside as few others could. Armed with a revolver and a naval sword, William Gordon Stables set off on his first caravan journey in 1885 leaving behind his everyday life. Travelling at a leisurely pace of around two miles an hour, he covered 1,300 miles from his home in Twyford, Berkshire to Inverness in his birthplace of Scotland. Stables found that The Wanderer offered the perfect place to write and while on board he penned "The Cruise of the Land Yacht 'Wanderer'". This work charted his first journey in great detail and offered advice to would-be caravanners.

Very Good copy, with bumped corners and some rubbing to boards; slightly cocked; text is clean, although some foxing on first few pages (mainly frontispiece and title page) and last few pages.


Offered by William Cowan