Thomas Cook: The Holiday Maker

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9780750933254: Thomas Cook: The Holiday Maker

Thomas Cook (1808-92), the father of tourism, is a forgotten hero of his age. When he was born, neither of the words 'tourism' or 'sightseeing' had been invented. Driven by his Baptist faith and the promotion of Temperance, Cook founded the travel industry - now one of the world's biggest sectors. One hundred and fifty years after his first overseas conducted tour, Jill Hamilton brings to life the complex man behind the famous name. There have been many accounts of the history of his firm, but this book is the first full-length biography of Cook himself.

His early years in Melbourne, Derbyshire, as a gardener, carpenter and preacher, then in Leicester as a printer and travel organiser, give a vivid picture of the political influence of the Nonconformists in England in the nineteenth century. Cook did everything from starting soup kitchens to leading an innovative campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws. During his fifty-year career in travel he drew on the same enthusiasm and originality to make holidays easier by introducing pre-paid inclusive tours, hotel coupons, traveller's cheques, the 'round the world' trip and the first travel newspaper. Few people, though, know of his determination to improve the lot of the working classes, his abhorrence of drink and his deep faith. The sex, alcohol and over-spending now associated with holidays would horrify the man whose first escorted trip in 1841 was a Temperance outing to Loughborough. He also helped set up a Baptist Chapel in Rome in the 1870s, and from 1869 onwards he brought the largest number of British people to the Holy Land since the Crusaders. At the end of his life Cook could boast that he had escorted thousands of tourists abroad without mishap, but he sadly witnessed the accidental death of his only daughter in his own home. This book gives a new perspective not only on Thomas Cook himself but on the birth of the travel industry.

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About the Author:

Jill, Duchess of Hamilton is a former newspaper journalist in both Australia and Fleet Street. Her previous books include God, Guns and Israel, Britain the First World War and the Origins of the Jewish Homeland. Sutton 2003. She is a member of the Royal United Services Institute, vice president of the RSPCA and a fellow of the Linnean Society London.

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Jill Hamilton
Editore: The History Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 0750933259 ISBN 13: 9780750933254
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Hamilton, Jill
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