Another local tale, found, via a note in Notes and Queries, 10th February 1900…
“Eliza Meteyard, a short story titled “Dora and her Papa [: A Story for Children]” … “The story is written in Miss Meteyard’s most fascinating style, and brings before the young readers many antiquarian and historical subjects in such a way that they are easily understood and appreciated … some of the principal characters in the story are drawn largely from actual life from persons whom Miss Meteyard knew. Mr. Flaxdale (Dora’s ‘papa’) was taken from the late Mr. Thomas Bateman, of Lomberdale House, Derbyshire the well-known antiquary [and barrow-opener]; and the original Hornblower was Mr. Samuel Carrington, the village schoolmaster of Wetton, Staffordshire, a frequent contributor to the early numbers of the Reliquary, a self-taught, but learned geologist, who supplied more than one museum with rare geological specimens. The vivid description of the opening of a barrow [ancient tumulus] is a faithful account of one actually opened by Mr. Bateman, and I may add that a portion, probably a good portion, of the book was written during a visit of the authoress to Lomberdale House [near Bakewell, seat of Thomas Bateman].”
Perhaps it was once a “short story”, but the Routledge book version apparently had 392 pages. The author of the Note appears to be confused himself, as he also refers to it as a “book”. Sadly it’s one of those baffling Victorian books by a noted author that are, for unknown reasons, available nowhere online. There’s not even a copy at Project Gutenberg Australia.
So this Victorian “Dora the Explorer” is unavailable. According to one short review the first chapters are local (perhaps the original short story?), but thereafter Dora and her antiquarian father see the great antiquarian sites of England (Uriconium, Hadrian’s Wall, Saxon Kent, etc). Possibly the most valuable bits today would be the descriptions of Thomas Bateman’s collection rooms, and the “vivid” account of the local barrow opening, and pen-portraits of Carrington and and Bateman.
“Samuel Carrington was Bateman’s lieutenant in Staffordshire. A village schoolmaster at Wetton, he was described by Roache Smith [in Retrospections, Vol. 1, 1883] as ‘a very intelligent man; a good geologist; and an enthusiastic excavator of tumuli’. Smith noted penetratingly: ‘Seldom are such men appreciated and I fear he was not an exception to the fate of the worthy unselfish poor.” “Carrington appears to have begun working with Bateman in the spring of 1845.” […] “Carrington appears to have been a most conscientious and worthy servant. He had a deep interest in archaeology and proved a scrupulous and enthusiastic antiquary.” […] “Judging from later articles in The Reliquary, and notes in Jewitt’s diary, Carrington continued to interest himself in archaeology for some years after Bateman’s death.” (Barry M. Marsden, The Early Barrow-Diggers, Noyes, 1974, pages 43-45).
Update: got it. Some ping-pong between Canada and a VPN proxy in Singapore unlocked what may be spurious copyright-blocks (on a book from the 1860s), and magicked up the PDF download. Sadly the text on several pages is “clipped off” down one side. One page is slightly slurred down half of one edge. But it’s otherwise quite readable.