Books on Walking
Yale University Press, 1992
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“In 1819, when Keats was twenty-two years old, he and his friend Charles Brown embarked on a walking tour through northern England, Ireland, and Scotland.” In 1979, 1980, and 1981, Carol Kyros Walker followed in Keats’s footsteps, guided in part by a 1936 book, A Walk after John Keats, by an American scholar, Nelson Bushnell. Walker’s book, copiously illustrated with her photographs (in color as well as black-and-white), sets Keats’s walk in the context of his life and work and also includes the letters and poems he wrote at the time (later published by Brown). The book is beautifully designed and reader-friendly, an absolute feast. If you enjoy it even half as I much as I have, you might want to track down Walker’s subsequent books, a similarly formatted edition of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland and Breaking Away: Coleridge In Scotland. What heroic walkers strode the land in those days!
John Wilson is Contributing Editor for The Englewood Review of Books. He was previously editor of Books and Culture magazine.