BAEDEKER, Karl. London und Umgebung. Nebst Reiserouten vom Continent nach England und zurück. Handbuch für Reisende. Coblenz, Karl Baedeker, 1862.
Small 8vo. Original red cloth lettered in gilt and ornamented in blind; pp. xlvi, 332, illustrated with maps and plans including rear map endpapers in green, red and black; light marking to binding, expert repair to upper hinge, otherwise a very good and tight copy of a great rarity.
First edition of Beadeker's first guidebook for London, the first title to introduce the iconic design of the red binding. Karl Baedeker II's father had begun the project of this title but died in 1861. 'Now the younger brother, 24-year old Karl had to take over the publishing house. The most urgent task was finishing the first Germanlanguage edition on London. In 1862, the next Great Exhibition after the Paris industrial exhibition of 1855 took place - in London. The growing industrialisation and the participation of German states and companies meant that an even greater flow of travellers could be expected. With the publication of the London edition in German (from 1862) and French (from 1866), the Baedeker house went straight “into the lion’s den”, that is, it started competing with Murray in his home territory. There were already some guides to London in German, but now, the well-known Baedeker name made the competition far livelier. Baedeker succeeded in publishing the volume on time, and it even included a loose appendix on the Great Exhibition [four pages, not present here as frequently the case] … Some unpleasantness with a competing German product describing itself as a Baedeker was certainly an annoyance, but turned out not to be a disadvantage. By comparison, the presentation of the Great Exhibition in a competing publication (Verlag Bruckmann, Stuttgart) shows a more detailed layout, with nearly 12 pages of narrative; Baedeker was content with the loose - already mentioned - appendix of barely four pages. While Baedeker mentions no bookshops in London, Bruckmann lists Williams & Norgate with their full address, and does not forget Dulau and John Murray (“publisher of the famous travel guides”). The two volumes look confusingly similar: the same format, the same binding, the same decorative impressions, only differing in that the Bruckmann cover is in the brown-red colour of the Murray books. Thus the co-operation with John Murray ended in 1862' (Hinrichsen, p. 33). This title covers actually more than London and surroundings; it has a railway map of Europe, and describes in detail how to get from Central Europe to London and back.