Best Blue Guide Series in 2022

The Blue Guide Series

The Blue Guide Series was first published in 1924 and is the most widely distributed American history textbook. Since its inception, the series has been owned by three different publishers. In the United States, the Blue Guides are published by WW Norton and Co., which acquired the series from A&C Black (Publishers) Limited. Later, the company was bought by Bloomsbury Plc. The series is relaunched by Somerset Books.

Muirhead's Guide-books company

The original edition of the London Blue Guide was published by Findlay and James Muirhead's Guide-books business. The Blue Guide was co-published by French publisher Hachette, but the Blue Guide's name came from Guides Bleus in France. Since then, the Blue Guide series has gone through several publishers. Ernest Benn published the first volume in 1931, and A&C Black followed in 1984. They were later purchased by Bloomsbury and Somerset Books acquired the Blue Guides company in 2004.

The first Blue Guide, published in 1898, was edited by Findley Muirhead, M.A. (Edin.). Muirhead joined the staff of Baedeker's Handbooks in 1887 and served as Joint-Editor of the English volumes until 1914. In 1915, Muirhead founded Muirhead Guide-Books, Ltd., and became the first Organiser and Editor of the Blue Guide Series. The company's first edition of the Blue Guide was published in 1918. Over the years, Muirhead Guide-Books also produced the Blue Guides for England and Wales.

In the 1880s, Muirhead quit his studies at Leipzig to become the English-language editors of the Baedeker series. His first English-language guide, The Rhine from Switzerland to Holland, is scarcely available. The company's next English-language guide, The Rhine, includes Northern Germany, Berlin, and a side trip to Copenhagen. After Baedeker's death, Muirheads started their own company, which today is called Muirhead's Guide-books Limited.

James and Findlay Muirhead

The Blue Guide series began in 1918 with the first volume, London and its Environs. The brothers James and Findlay Muirhead, who were the English language editors of the Baedeker series, had acquired the rights to John Murray III's famous travel "handbooks," and continued the tradition. The series continued to be published until 2004, when Somerset Books took over its production. In the meantime, the Blue Guides have continued to remain popular with tourists and readers alike.

In 1878, James Muirhead began work on the London edition of the Baedeker. Baedeker, a German publisher, had founded the travel guide genre in the 1820s. The Muirhead brothers began translating Baedeker travel guides in English, beginning with the Baedeker London edition. They also worked with Baedeker on guides to the UK and North America. However, their work was interrupted by World War I.

After leaving the University of Edinburgh to pursue journalism, Muirhead moved to a small town in rural Scotland. He joined Baedeker's Handbooks staff in 1887 and served as Joint-Editor of the English volumes until 1914. In 1915, Muirhead founded Muirhead Guide-Books, Ltd., and in 1919 became Organiser and Editor of the Blue Guide series. After the Blue Guide to London, the series expanded to the United Kingdom and Wales.

Paul Blanchard

The Blue Guide series is a classic guidebook series with a variety of locations around the world. The Southern Italy edition is a reprint of the previous edition. This region is a major tourist destination, and it is home to a variety of sites, including the ruins of Pompeii, the island of Capri, the wild scenery of Abruzzo, the charming villages of the Ionian Coast, and the Romanesque architecture of Puglia. The Blue Guide style makes these guides great for home study, as well as for onsite use. These books are perfect for independent travellers.

The Turin Blue Guide is a comprehensive guide for those planning to visit Turin and its surrounding areas, including the royal residences, Lake Maggiore, the Piedmontese Alps, and wine country. This guide is written by landscape artist and Italy resident Paul Blanchard, who personally tours the Piedmontese region, providing interesting details about monuments and carefully researched recommendations for hotels. The Blue Guide series is an essential travel companion to discover a city's rich culture and history.


If you're looking for a new travel book, consider the Hachette Blue Guide series. Once an offshoot of the Hachette Guides Bleu, the Blue Guides now have a new owner. Benn and A&C Black inherited the series in the past, but have since fallen on hard times. In effect, Annabel Barber, who lives in Budapest and publishes from London, took the reigns of the Blue Guides.

The Blue Guide series was founded in 1918, by Scottish brothers James and Findlay Muirhead. These brothers originally published the Baedeker series in English. Later, they acquired the rights to John Murray's travel "handbooks" and made them the standards for English travellers for 75 years. Now, the Hachette Blue Guide Series is published by Somerset Books. Its first title was the Hachette Blue Guide Northern Italy, published in 2004.

Somerset Books

The Somerset Books Blue Guide Series is a collection of travel guides. Founded in 1918, the company first launched the Visible Cities series and later purchased the Blue Guides in 2004. It is a highly respected publisher of travel guides and other travel literature. Its guides are written by a variety of people with vast knowledge of the areas they cover. Some of the authors are archaeologists and others are journalists who report on the region's history, culture, and archaeology.

The first Blue Guide, London and Environs, was published in 1918. The series was first compiled by James and Findlay Muirhead, two Scottish brothers who had previously worked for the Baedeker publishing company. The Muirhead brothers had become the English-language editors of the Baedeker series when they bought the rights to the renowned travel "handbooks" of John Murray III. The Blue Guides were an important part of the travel guide tradition of the 19th century.

Review by Emily Barber

This Blue Guide to London focuses on history, museums, and art and was completely rewritten by the Blue guides team. The extensive mapping is accompanied by photographs, maps, and diagrams. Blue Guides follow the traditional tradition of objectivity and thoroughness. They are two-colour with photographs and include detailed floor plans. This guide is excellent for both on-site and at-home study. I highly recommend this series for anyone looking to visit London.

Becky Watson

Commissioning Editor in Walker’s “6+” team. I work on books across the different children’s genres, including non-fiction, fiction, picture books, gift books and novelty titles. Happy to answer questions about children's publishing – as best I can – for those hoping to enter the industry!

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