Byways, Boots & Blisters

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More About This Title Byways, Boots & Blisters


"The great affair is to move: to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson. This book celebrates the history of walking for leisure and pleasure. There’s no shortage of the famous, and the not so famous, exponents of a good, long walk: Dr. Johnson and his faithful Boswell on their Hebridean jaunt; John Taylor, whose Penniless Pilgrimage, a record of his 1618 journey from London to Edinburgh, provided the first account of a walking tour; and Samuel Coleridge who conceived his epic tale of the Ancient Mariner on a ramble through Devon. The author also includes the stories of key inventions: the cagoule, the Thermos flask, the rucksack, Gore-Tex, and the walking pole. Fully illustrated throughout, this is an engaging history of one of man’s favorite pastimes.


Bill Laws has written books on house and garden history, including Nails, Noggins and Newels: An Alternative History of Every House and Spade, Skirret and Parsnip: the Curious History of Vegetables.