In the meantime I'm loving Trollope the Traveller edited by Graham Handley. It's chock full of snippets like
Bear in mind Trollope worked for the Post Office all his life.
I have said that the cross mail conveyances in Canada did not seem to be very closely bound as to time; but they are regulated by clock-work in comparison with some of them in the United States. 'Are you going this morning?' I said to a mail-driver in Vermont. 'I thought you always started in the evening.' 'Wa'll; I guess I do. But it rained some last night, so I jist stayed at home.' I do not know that I have ever felt more shocked in my life, and I could hardly keep my tongue off the man. The mails, however, would have paid no respect to me in Vermont, and I was obliged to walk away crestfallen.
'I doubt if the lady can do it,' one man said to me. I asked if ladies did not sometimes go up. 'Yes; young women do, at times,' he said. After that my wife resolved that she would see the top of the Owl's Head, or die in the attempt, and so we started. They never think of sending a guide with one in these places, whereas in Europe a traveller is not allowed to go a step without one. When I asked for one to show us the way up Mt. Washington, I was told there were no idle boys about that place. The path was indicated to us, and off we started with high hopes.
The book is sheer joy if you like 19th. century travel books. I now need to find out where 'the Owl's Head' mountain is. They saw the sun set from the top... entirely forgetting that would then mean they had to come down the mountain in the dark! Ooops.