I like travel and I love learning about authors so a book combining those two things sounded right up my street.
And Footnotes gets off to a cracking start with tales of Enid Blyton and her connection to Dorset.
While Enid’s work is controversial, her books were very much part of my childhood and I wanted to learn more about the woman behind the literary empire. Where better to do so than the place she went on holiday?
Written in a style that made me feel like I was travelling with a knowledgeable and humorous friend, first stop on Peter Fiennes’ trip round Britain is the Isle of Purbeck, as I believe it’s known locally.
A mixture of anecdote, biography, travel, history and even nature writing, the book makes for a lively and engaging read.
Here’s the blurb:
In each walk, a scene. In each journey, a story.
To tread any well-travelled path is to step upon layers of history and to add to them. What was seen by yesterday’s rambler? Who were they? What was their Britain?
Peter Fiennes follows in the footsteps of writers, spiritualists, economists, farmers, churchmen and artists, from the eleventh century to the twentieth. Traversing past and present, he searches for signs of what his absent guides once saw and, through their words, opens up a new way of seeing what is there today.
Footnotes is full of wonders and wanders, old stories and fresh connections, worn roads and wild places. It is a mesmerising quest to picture these isles anew.
Other authors featured include Wilkie Collins, J B Priestley, Beryl Bainbridge and Charles Dickens who are all given the same treatment as Enid.
It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and the authors were not all ones I would have chosen but I felt he had a good mix.
It definitely sparked some wanderlust and the idea of combining that with visiting places important to some of my favourite authors has taken off in my head.
Format: Kindle (out Sept 5).
Price: £9.49 (via Amazon).
My rating: Four stars.