The travel books of Alison Lascelles
We referred briefly in May to these books on motoring in France, Spain and Switzerland, published by Arthur Barker. Having read them in detail I consider they deserve additional recommendation. They are written entertainingly yet contain a wealth of useful information, and they are delightfully frank—read, for example, the description of the law-abiding Swiss whose police are always looking for trouble, the author’s contempt of crossing the Channel by boat in contrast to the ease of going by Silver City or Channel Air Bridge, or, quote : ” … the B.F. organisation’s Travel Service and Handbook—for which a charge of 8s. 6d. is made—seems to me to have nothing to recommend it.” She is amusing about some of the more delicate aspects of foreign travel and, as to her cars, reveals that she had a pre-1939 Daimler that continually broke the same valve spring until a pre-1914 replacement was fitted, and a Ford Pilot which boiled over on a mountain pass due to faulty ignition setting. There is, too, her story of a friend whose automatic transmission Fiat 2100 ran away with her down the Simplon, and so frightened her that she sold it on reaching level ground and bought a disc-braked Mercedes-Benz with a normal gearbox.
I wish Alison Lascelles, would write a purely motoring book and include in it accounts of the cars she has driven hundreds of thousands of miles across Europe, including a lone run vvithout sleep from London to Monte Carlo and Paris-Menton non-stop on another occasion. It would be fun, too, if she wrote a book on touring in England for her Continental friends. Meanwhile. it you have a Continental holiday ahead, the appropriate book in this series will be an enormous encouragement and help.—W.B.