Other books and pamphlets by Henry Walker
The effect of the Saturday Half Day when
Hodder and Stoughton published a Half-A-Crown pocket book called Saturday Afternoon Rambles Round London.
They were Rural and Geological Sketches designed to interest the vast number of people who had suddenly been granted a half-day holiday on Saturdays. Before this the working week had been from Monday to Saturday, dawn to dusk. Sundays were reserve for church, so people had no free time and were cooped up in the smoke and dirt of industrial London for seven days a week. The campaign for a Saturday half-holiday was part of the campaign for better health. There were no modern medicines: fresh air was the only known cure for dozens of diseases. London parks and open spaces were being promoted as ways getting people out in the fresher air and so improving health. This booklet was designed to encourage rural walks and exploration of the countryside with the joint aims of promoting health and intellectual inquiry.
Fossils of crocodiles and elephants which had once roamed in England were being discovered around London and the ideas of Darwin had taken the old ideas of how the World started by the ears. The whole earlier belief system was up for grabs and these rambles were part of the controversy.