Mirror image, 1907

Mirror image, 1907
Great Western Railway map,

Why is Cornwall as nice as Italy?

Bibek Bhattacharya
April 02 , 2014
01 Min Read

What’s all this about visiting foreign climes? Why can’t 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’s as nice as Italy.

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

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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