Great Western Railway map
Great Western Railway map

Mirror image, 1907

Why is Cornwall as nice as Italy

What&rsquos all this about visiting foreign climes Why can&rsquot you, first go and see your own country What does it lack really You want salubrious sea beaches Check. You want mountains Check. You want pretty rural belles Check. Such patriotic travel issues informed this famous Great Western Railway poster from 1907.

Fed up with English migrations to Italy for the summer, Great Western and its artist Arthur Gunn decided to advertise the charms of Cornwall, and highlight the reasons why it&rsquos as nice as Italy.

Tiny inscriptions in the map read, &lsquoCornwall was known to the Romans as the Western land,&rsquo just as &lsquoItaly was known to the Greeks as the Western land.&rsquo Ergo, Cornwall must be Italy. Want more proof Take a look at the shape. Why, it&rsquos almost a mirror image, give or take an Adriatic Sea What&rsquos more, the comely women in shockingly similar headgear also goes to show that the two are indeed greatly similar in their &lsquonatural beauties&rsquo.

Of course, what this poster willingly forgets is the small matter of size. Italy is about eighty times larger than Cornwall. But, as the fruit trees in the poster show, it ultimately amounts to comparing apples and oranges.

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