By Thames & Cotswold by W.H. Hutton

During our trip along the Upper Thames we stopped at Lechlade and Steve bought a copy of "By Thames & Cotswold" by William Holden Hutton in a second-hand bookshop. The 1903 first edition turned out to be a little treasure. Although not strictly a "boating book", it covers most of villages and towns of central England including Stratford-upon-Avon, Chipping Camden & Burford, it does have some excellent descriptions of the Upper Thames from around century ago.


W.H. Hutton was a "man of the cloth" who was not only interested in poetry, but was an accomplished illustrator. The book has hand-cut pages and contains nearly 100 illustration, all by the author.

Of particular interest to us were the sections dealing with Kelmscott. Hutton describes Kelmscott Manor and explains that how William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti lived in the house and describes how Mrs Morris (Jane Burden) was still living there in the early 1900s. The author also describes how William Morris is buried in St George's churchyard and quotes extensively from Morris and his News From Nowhere.

As with lots of second-hand books, our copy has annotations (in pencil). It also contains a newspaper cutting from 1930 describing the charms of the village of Kelmscott and its connections with William Morris.

A particularly interesting illustration is contained in the last chapter (titled Envoy) where there is a small illustration which shows a narrow boat (Derry) being unloaded by a wheelbarrow. There is no explanation of the illustration. We particularly like the small figure fishing from the stern; is it a child?

Copies of the book appear to be available through AbeBooks from £5 to £36.