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Wanderers: A History of Women Walking

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Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by ten pathfinding women writers. “A wild portrayal of the passion and spirit of female walkers and the deep sense of ‘knowing’ that they found along the path.”—Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path   “I opened this book and instantly found that Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by ten pathfinding women writers. “A wild portrayal of the passion and spirit of female walkers and the deep sense of ‘knowing’ that they found along the path.”—Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path   “I opened this book and instantly found that I was part of a conversation I didn't want to leave. A dazzling, inspirational history.”—Helen Mort, author of No Map Could Show Them This is a book about ten women over the past three hundred years who have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers. Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter—who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England—to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed. For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia Woolf did around Bloomsbury. Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by these ten pathfinding women.


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Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by ten pathfinding women writers. “A wild portrayal of the passion and spirit of female walkers and the deep sense of ‘knowing’ that they found along the path.”—Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path   “I opened this book and instantly found that Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by ten pathfinding women writers. “A wild portrayal of the passion and spirit of female walkers and the deep sense of ‘knowing’ that they found along the path.”—Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path   “I opened this book and instantly found that I was part of a conversation I didn't want to leave. A dazzling, inspirational history.”—Helen Mort, author of No Map Could Show Them This is a book about ten women over the past three hundred years who have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers. Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter—who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England—to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed. For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia Woolf did around Bloomsbury. Offering a beguiling view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing—of being—articulated by these ten pathfinding women.

30 review for Wanderers: A History of Women Walking

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Macdonald

    I liked the idea of this book, and I definitely enjoyed some of the chapters - but it isn’t a history of women walking. It is more an analysis of women’s writing on walking. The book is a collection of chapters each exploring the writings of one female walker. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Elizabeth Carter and Ellen Weston, but I have to confess that I skipped quite a few pages towards the end of the book as it just got a bit too boring. Boring because the middle chapters seemed more of I liked the idea of this book, and I definitely enjoyed some of the chapters - but it isn’t a history of women walking. It is more an analysis of women’s writing on walking. The book is a collection of chapters each exploring the writings of one female walker. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Elizabeth Carter and Ellen Weston, but I have to confess that I skipped quite a few pages towards the end of the book as it just got a bit too boring. Boring because the middle chapters seemed more of an essay of literary analysis; the number of ‘ands’ an author used, the number of dashes and what this means, how many commas in relation to the number of words in the passage etc. It just leant nothing to the narrative and has nothing to do with history or walking either. Andrews skirts on the surface of the lives of these women, without really getting into any depth about how they lived or with any context to what was happening in the world around them which would have some bearing on their experience as female walkers. More weight is given to analysing their writing, than to their stories. There is a clear absence of a “history” of women walkers too; just a collection of stories written from a small section of society. This brings me on to the area which was most disappointing; the lack of diversity. The author says in the final chapter that there are “dozens and dozens” more women who liked to write about their walks, yet this is collection of white, middle class, presumably straight women (sexuality is not discussed). She even mentions a “cross-dressing novelist George Sand” - why on earth weren’t they included as a welcome break from the almost identical characters throughout the book? Andrews says in the last paragraph “the omission of women from the literature of walking can no longer be justified”. I would have liked to see a broader representation of women in this book, too. I’m afraid this book didn’t do it for me, as a women who walks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Moira McPartlin

    This is maybe not the best book to read during a global pandemic when travel is limited. Or maybe it is. A History of Women Walking explores the wandering lives of ten women who are famed for their walking covering a period from early eighteenth century to the present day. Hampered by convention, cumbersome clothes and risking the dangers of assault, the women, who walked vast distances alone, show bravely and tenacity in the face of such challenges. An inspiring read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    While this book really had me thinking about my own walking history and my connection to all these women who walked, and all the positive qualities provided by a life of walking, this one just didn't do it for me. It felt more like a dissertation with lots of scholarly language (and lots of unfamiliar Scottish terms), cerebral observations, and women largely unknown to me. It did make me think though, so there's that. While this book really had me thinking about my own walking history and my connection to all these women who walked, and all the positive qualities provided by a life of walking, this one just didn't do it for me. It felt more like a dissertation with lots of scholarly language (and lots of unfamiliar Scottish terms), cerebral observations, and women largely unknown to me. It did make me think though, so there's that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth williams

    One to dip in and out of. I liked the idea of the book but didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lilly MacKenzie

    How nice it was to walk alongside kindred spirits in the pages of this book. Dr Kerri Andrews profiles 10 women for whom walking and writing have gone hand in hand, and it was so very interesting to get to know them all. I often search fruitlessly for answers as to why I have the intense need to wander. This book was a good reminder that I don’t need a reason, I just need to lace up my boots and continue to be authentically me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rowan Cannell

    I was really looking forward to this book, but ultimately it felt like a set of assigned essays written by a college student.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Felicity

    Seduced by the newspaper review I'd read of Wanderers on its initial publication, I bought this book in haste and have since regretted it at my leisure. Although Andrews is a lecturer in English Literature, the book is not an academic monograph published by a university press but is ostensibly an accessible study aimed at a general readership. Both the title and subtitle are misleading: the female subjects d0 not amble aimlessly, and the author has produced a study of a tendentious selection of Seduced by the newspaper review I'd read of Wanderers on its initial publication, I bought this book in haste and have since regretted it at my leisure. Although Andrews is a lecturer in English Literature, the book is not an academic monograph published by a university press but is ostensibly an accessible study aimed at a general readership. Both the title and subtitle are misleading: the female subjects d0 not amble aimlessly, and the author has produced a study of a tendentious selection of very determined women walkers from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century rather than a history of female trail blazing. Her decision to focus solely on those women who not only walked the walk but also talked and wrote tirelessly about its importance and, by extension, their own self-importance proved partial and prejudicial. Counting the miles and the days makes tedious reading, and the author's frequent resort to the trite instantiation of female transgression in place of substantiated analysis became increasingly wearisome. The most interesting case-studies were those of the earliest participants, most notably Elizabeth Carter, whose lively sense of humour raises her prose and her achievement well above her biographer's. The chapter on Nan Shepherd adds nothing of any substance to the subjects's own accounts. Plodding through this book proved a harder slog than climbing my local mountain; for me it really was a race to the finish: I couldn't wait to leave the pedestrian prose behind.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Nicholson

    A very pleasant and informative read! With each chapter focusing on a different woman walker/writer from the 18th century to the present day, this book provides a really lovely opportunity to become acquainted with these, in some cases little known yet brilliant women and their writing. Aiming to shift the focus away from the already widely documented and celebrated men in walking literature, Andrews shines a spotlight on the women for whom the relationship between walking and writing was just a A very pleasant and informative read! With each chapter focusing on a different woman walker/writer from the 18th century to the present day, this book provides a really lovely opportunity to become acquainted with these, in some cases little known yet brilliant women and their writing. Aiming to shift the focus away from the already widely documented and celebrated men in walking literature, Andrews shines a spotlight on the women for whom the relationship between walking and writing was just as significant. It's less of a general history on women walking, rather more an analysis of specific women, but reading the accounts by these women of their experiences of walking, observing, and in some cases becoming one with the landscape entirely, I felt a keen sense of recognition and resonance in their words.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    I loved this book. It not only explores the walking lives of the featured women but examines how walking affected and inspired their writing. It is beautifully written, tightly constructed and constantly inventive and surprising. It is not so much a history of women walking, although it spans 200 years but an evocative and sensual exploration of the motivations and lives of the women about whom the author writes. I made copious notes and it also inspired me to think more about my own walking and to I loved this book. It not only explores the walking lives of the featured women but examines how walking affected and inspired their writing. It is beautifully written, tightly constructed and constantly inventive and surprising. It is not so much a history of women walking, although it spans 200 years but an evocative and sensual exploration of the motivations and lives of the women about whom the author writes. I made copious notes and it also inspired me to think more about my own walking and to appreciate it more. Highly recommend this book

  10. 4 out of 5

    sillypunk

    All of these women were amazing: https://blogendorff.com/2021/10/31/bo... All of these women were amazing: https://blogendorff.com/2021/10/31/bo...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Roberts

    Lovely writing depicting the many walking lives of historic women writers across the world. Very relevant to my situation so nice to read I'm not alone in some worries! Lovely writing depicting the many walking lives of historic women writers across the world. Very relevant to my situation so nice to read I'm not alone in some worries!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

    I learned a word that describes an experience I've had on the trail and how I feel about my life right now: if you exchange "fear" for "burned-out." Crag-fast--It's a rock climber word for being too afraid to turn around and too scared to withdraw. Really enjoyed my mornings reading about one woman walker at a time. Needed this book this week. I learned a word that describes an experience I've had on the trail and how I feel about my life right now: if you exchange "fear" for "burned-out." Crag-fast--It's a rock climber word for being too afraid to turn around and too scared to withdraw. Really enjoyed my mornings reading about one woman walker at a time. Needed this book this week.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elif

    Reading about women walking is always empowering! https://elifthereader.com/books/wande... Reading about women walking is always empowering! https://elifthereader.com/books/wande...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily Moon

    I so enjoyed this book and learnt much about the history of walking. It got me thinking about my own relationship with the outdoors, why I feel driven to walk and what I get from it. I especially enjoyed the first few chapters about the ‘pioneers’ of female walking and the challenges they faced.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    When I found myself checking the meanings of two words on a single page, I had to look up the author's background and, sure enough, she is a university academic in an English Department. This is one reason I enjoyed the book as it assumes that readers are intelligent and doesn't dumb down the language. Most of the subjects are based in Europe or the UK at some point. I felt the inclusion of Cheryl Strayed was a bit out of place with a modern American being included amongst all the historical wal When I found myself checking the meanings of two words on a single page, I had to look up the author's background and, sure enough, she is a university academic in an English Department. This is one reason I enjoyed the book as it assumes that readers are intelligent and doesn't dumb down the language. Most of the subjects are based in Europe or the UK at some point. I felt the inclusion of Cheryl Strayed was a bit out of place with a modern American being included amongst all the historical walkers. This book does make you think and I suspect the next time I pick up an Australian author who refers to walking, I will be pondering this book. A good start to 2021.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maristella

    Not very interesting read. Shame as I'm very intrested in the topic and wanted to like this book. Not very interesting read. Shame as I'm very intrested in the topic and wanted to like this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liz Moffat

    ‘Books can be dangerous, the best ones should be labeled “This could change your life” ‘ Helen Exely. This book surprised me in the fact that even in the eighteenth century, women were going out walking in cities or the hills on their own for long periods at a time. They had the same concerns and worries as we would face nowadays such as accidents or attacks and the added worry for their reputation but that certainly didn’t stop them. Once on their walks, they were oblivious to everything apart f ‘Books can be dangerous, the best ones should be labeled “This could change your life” ‘ Helen Exely. This book surprised me in the fact that even in the eighteenth century, women were going out walking in cities or the hills on their own for long periods at a time. They had the same concerns and worries as we would face nowadays such as accidents or attacks and the added worry for their reputation but that certainly didn’t stop them. Once on their walks, they were oblivious to everything apart from their own thoughts and the sounds and sight of nature around them. This book has given me a real yearning for solitary walking, not all of the time because I love company but some of the time when I want to think things through or just experience nature without distraction. Kerri Andrews follows in the footsteps of ten women, from Elizabeth Carter and Dorothy Wordsworth around the Lake District in 1700s, through Nan Shepherd reminding me of my love of the vast and rugged Cairngorms, Virginia Woolf whose footsteps I retraced years later in Bloomsbury and to Linda Cracknell in Aberfeldy and Cheryl Strayed walking her troubles away on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in the present time. I loved all these women and their stories, they have inspired me!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh Cassidy

    This book is a wonderful idea. I enjoyed reading the various chapters and the different aspects of walking they explored. Each chapter presents a famous woman and their reasons for walking. Physical strength, self-discovery and overcoming personal difficulties were some of the examples. I also loved the ending, chapter Coda is beautiful and moving. It sums up the book very well: how the women Andrews has written about accompany her on her wandering adventures. The book was a little bit boring at This book is a wonderful idea. I enjoyed reading the various chapters and the different aspects of walking they explored. Each chapter presents a famous woman and their reasons for walking. Physical strength, self-discovery and overcoming personal difficulties were some of the examples. I also loved the ending, chapter Coda is beautiful and moving. It sums up the book very well: how the women Andrews has written about accompany her on her wandering adventures. The book was a little bit boring at times and I found Andrews narration which concluded each chapter to be a bit highbrow. For example, on page 247 Andrews writes, "I was also perplexed by what appeared to my northern European eyes as a peculiarly a-seasonal landscape." It's too wordy. I love the information Andrews offers on these women but her voice isn't very strong as a through thread. Also, as a history of women walking, I would expect more diversity. Unfortunately if felt like this book focused mainly on white, middle-upper class women. As a follow up I would like to see a COMPLETE history to women walking. To include more voices and stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marianna

    A little too academic for me. I enjoyed the bits where the author wrote about her personal experiences.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin Reads The World

    As human beings, walking defines us. We're walkers and we're talkers. Walking can be both a social and introspective pursuit. I know I'm not alone in saying that I get some of my best thinking in while walking. Walking is something both men and women can do. Yet there's so many things that can prohibit women from walking. That doesn't stop many of us though;; we walk the trails or pound the pavement. But, if you look at the literature of walking, women's experiences are vastly underrepresented. Th As human beings, walking defines us. We're walkers and we're talkers. Walking can be both a social and introspective pursuit. I know I'm not alone in saying that I get some of my best thinking in while walking. Walking is something both men and women can do. Yet there's so many things that can prohibit women from walking. That doesn't stop many of us though;; we walk the trails or pound the pavement. But, if you look at the literature of walking, women's experiences are vastly underrepresented. This is where Wanderers: A History of Women Walking by Kerri Andrews comes in. It's attempting to fill some of the gaps. In Wanderers we gain an insight into the lives of ten women who walked and wrote it. Kerri Andrews also peppers the book with our own experiences walking in the UK, often the same places as our ten women, who span back to Dorothy Wordsworth in the 18th Century to Linda Cracknell in the present day. Some of the chapters read like an academic text. Which given Kerri Andrews is a university lecturer, and this is a non-fiction book that frequently references other written works, I guess it's just part and parcel. Some of the chapters though, buzzed and the trodden landscapes brimmed with life. I especially liked the chapters on Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, Virginia Woolf, Nan Shepherd and Anaïs Nin. I know the book is not trying to represent the history of every woman walker, but the women in the book are all very noticeably white and are mostly British. It does discuss the privileges that allow women to walk (namely money, social privileges and a lack of familial responsibilities - especially in the 18th and 19th) and the fact that the women included in the book are all known for their writing is a privilege in itself. But I would have liked to have heard about more women who weren't from the UK. I adored the insight into walking and the human experience of walking from the female perspective. I had hoped to like this book more than I did, but some bits felt a little bit too academic for me. Although it did further ignite my love of a long walk in the mountains.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    In this book Kerri Andrews presents a collection of 10 women authors for whom walking was a significnat part of their lives with important impacts on their sense of themselves and their writing. The collection follows chronologically from the 18th to the 21st c. and includes women of a variety of economic and social situations as well as a varitey of responses to walking alone and safety. The type of walks also varies from rather tame walks to lengthy undertakings and serious hikes, making deman In this book Kerri Andrews presents a collection of 10 women authors for whom walking was a significnat part of their lives with important impacts on their sense of themselves and their writing. The collection follows chronologically from the 18th to the 21st c. and includes women of a variety of economic and social situations as well as a varitey of responses to walking alone and safety. The type of walks also varies from rather tame walks to lengthy undertakings and serious hikes, making demands on strength, endurance, and coping with weather. Despite the variety, each woman uses this time of walking to reflect on themselves and to write their works. There is a sense in which their walking writes. Andrews uses the writing of these authors -- diaries, letters, and their published works -- to illucidate how walking informed and transformed these women. The book contains a foreward; an introduction called "Setting Out"; 10 chapters on a particular author and ending with a comment by Andrews; a conlusion drawing it all together called "Coda"; an Appdedix; a References setion; a Further Reading section; Acknowledgements; and an Index. Highly recommended, and especially for women who walk and write.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liisa

    I probably should have known that this book wouldn’t be to my taste, but I really wanted to believe I could adore historical biographies. Because that’s what Wanderers essentially is: a collection of biographies about women who walked and wrote, the first feeding the latter. Kerri Andrews has chosen people from the 18th all the way to the 21st century. Most names sounded familiar, but there wasn’t anyone I had actually read something from. And I’m sorry to say Wanderers didn’t make me want to ch I probably should have known that this book wouldn’t be to my taste, but I really wanted to believe I could adore historical biographies. Because that’s what Wanderers essentially is: a collection of biographies about women who walked and wrote, the first feeding the latter. Kerri Andrews has chosen people from the 18th all the way to the 21st century. Most names sounded familiar, but there wasn’t anyone I had actually read something from. And I’m sorry to say Wanderers didn’t make me want to change that. The writing, though concise and fluent, felt boring and filled to the brim with quotes. Just so many quotes. Andrews ends each chapter with her own summaries and experiences trying to retrace the writers’ steps in some way, yet I didn’t care. And I guess that’s the main issue. Maybe I feel slightly more inspired to take walks, but the central message of how instrumental walking is for writers, men and women alike, didn’t offer anything particularly new. “For some women walkers, the pedestrian body becomes a conduit through which past, present and future are connected. The physical self is a medium through which time, stories, lives, all intersect.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ida

    I'm an avid walker, so was naturally drawn to this book. I will read anything about walking and anything about women empowering themselves. Great combo here. Andrews specifically focuses on women who have written about their walking experiences. So it's not about every well-known female pedestrian. She starts with some of her own experiences in the mountains of Scotland and then forays into ten separate essays, each focusing on one person. Some figures were familiar to me -- Virginia Woolf, Cher I'm an avid walker, so was naturally drawn to this book. I will read anything about walking and anything about women empowering themselves. Great combo here. Andrews specifically focuses on women who have written about their walking experiences. So it's not about every well-known female pedestrian. She starts with some of her own experiences in the mountains of Scotland and then forays into ten separate essays, each focusing on one person. Some figures were familiar to me -- Virginia Woolf, Cheryl Strayed. Others were new introductions. I learned about Dorothy Wordsworth, who thought nothing of walking 20 or more miles in a day, and every bit as accomplished as her famous brother, William. I'm going to look up writing by Linda Cracknell after reading about her here. In fact, this book grew my "to read" list quite a bit. I liked that Andrews retraced many of the walks described and shares a short blurb about her personal experience following the footsteps of the women who went before.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    I saw this on Amazon, liked its look, and thought it would be interesting to read. Growing up I walked but it was more like my parents dragging me up mountains whereas now the roles are reversed. I love walking and would rather be out experiencing new trails than sat in front of the telly. The book did not disappoint me. I knew there would be researched information within but the author has interwoven the research, the past and the present day so well, it was easy and a free-flowing read. The au I saw this on Amazon, liked its look, and thought it would be interesting to read. Growing up I walked but it was more like my parents dragging me up mountains whereas now the roles are reversed. I love walking and would rather be out experiencing new trails than sat in front of the telly. The book did not disappoint me. I knew there would be researched information within but the author has interwoven the research, the past and the present day so well, it was easy and a free-flowing read. The author has chosen ten walker-writers across a 300 year period who have a part of her own walking experiences. Whether these women have chosen to walk for their mental and physical health, for companionship with others or nature, regardless of potential vulnerabilities, have written about their adventures or these adventures inspired works they have done. This book not only made me want to put on my hiking boots and get out the door, it has also made me want to look into the works written by the women in this book and others mentioned.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Titia Sjenitzer

    How walking helped women throughout the past three centuries to be creative, write and get grip of their lives. This selection of lovely life stories from women who did significant walking, often defying cultural expectations, is really inspiring. It takes you on their journeys through Scotland, Yorkshire, Kent, California, the roads of London and Paris, and more. It talks about dealing with loss, illness, loneliness and other challenges in life. How walking gives back control and adds joy. The b How walking helped women throughout the past three centuries to be creative, write and get grip of their lives. This selection of lovely life stories from women who did significant walking, often defying cultural expectations, is really inspiring. It takes you on their journeys through Scotland, Yorkshire, Kent, California, the roads of London and Paris, and more. It talks about dealing with loss, illness, loneliness and other challenges in life. How walking gives back control and adds joy. The book is an overview of the life of ten women, based on fragments from their books and letters. Some stories grabbed me more than others. Admittedly some bits I skipped through a bit faster, and the literary analysis of their writing was personally not my favourite bit. However, being taken with these women into the mountains, or strolling along the Seine, the feeling to be a temporary walking companion of this diverse set of inspiring women I absolutely loved.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dianelw

    An insightful and inspiring book focusing on selected female walkers throughout history who have written about their walks. I particularly enjoyed reading about Dorothy Wordsworth, William's sister who was the first writer to publish an account of ascending Scafell Pike in England's Lake District, a peak John and I climbed in the 80s. But there is so much in the book to love and be fascinated by. Sarah Hazlitt's walking log alone is a marvel since she regularly hiked 20 and 30 miles at a time. E An insightful and inspiring book focusing on selected female walkers throughout history who have written about their walks. I particularly enjoyed reading about Dorothy Wordsworth, William's sister who was the first writer to publish an account of ascending Scafell Pike in England's Lake District, a peak John and I climbed in the 80s. But there is so much in the book to love and be fascinated by. Sarah Hazlitt's walking log alone is a marvel since she regularly hiked 20 and 30 miles at a time. Even Dorothy W could hike 17 miles in under 4 hours. We like to think our fitness regimes are so modern, but in fact they are age old. If anything, some of these women could handle way more distance and climbing than many I know, and certainly much more than me. Beyond, all that though is an exploration of all the gifts and rewards of walking when mind and body are yoked.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina Van Der Velde

    This book definitely left me wanting. It was far more a study of female writers who walked, and a literary analysis of their work in connection to their walking than it was 'a history of women walking'. Each chapter looks at a new female writer, but in reading through the book it felt more like watching a series of 'movie trailers' chapter by chapter, getting a taste of each writer, but this just left me frustrated I couldn't just 'watch a movie', and really dive into one of the authors and thei This book definitely left me wanting. It was far more a study of female writers who walked, and a literary analysis of their work in connection to their walking than it was 'a history of women walking'. Each chapter looks at a new female writer, but in reading through the book it felt more like watching a series of 'movie trailers' chapter by chapter, getting a taste of each writer, but this just left me frustrated I couldn't just 'watch a movie', and really dive into one of the authors and their work. It makes sense looking at the author who herself is a professor of English literature who loves walking that this book comes from her. There were some sections I enjoyed (reading the sections of work by the writers I connected to most), but overall the exteremly granular study of the punctuation and precise choice of words of all of the female writer/walkers isn't my cup of tea.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I think the title of this book is a bit deceiving and it should be ‘Wanders, a selection of women writers and how walking influenced their work’. This book has some excellent and inspiring passages from the writers and does go in to detail about how and why these women walked and the art they created from this. It was inspiring and made me consider why it’s less common for us to walk with little purpose anymore; walking tends to require a destination. This book was definitely written in a more a I think the title of this book is a bit deceiving and it should be ‘Wanders, a selection of women writers and how walking influenced their work’. This book has some excellent and inspiring passages from the writers and does go in to detail about how and why these women walked and the art they created from this. It was inspiring and made me consider why it’s less common for us to walk with little purpose anymore; walking tends to require a destination. This book was definitely written in a more academic/dissertation style with a lot of references and direct quotes but has allowed me to discover some female bad ass’s who I want to find out more about. In particular Harriet Martineau whose story I felt resonated with me most.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric Shapiro

    4/5 - a well written overview of some examples of well known women “walker-writers”. Similar to Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways, but obviously with a more gendered focus here. In particular I enjoyed and connected with the sections on Nan Shepherd, Virginia Woolf, and Harriet Martineau. I’m not big on biographies so some parts did read a bit slowly than others, but overall an engaging read. For me, the connections between walking in landscapes (especially natural ones) and its relationship with 4/5 - a well written overview of some examples of well known women “walker-writers”. Similar to Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways, but obviously with a more gendered focus here. In particular I enjoyed and connected with the sections on Nan Shepherd, Virginia Woolf, and Harriet Martineau. I’m not big on biographies so some parts did read a bit slowly than others, but overall an engaging read. For me, the connections between walking in landscapes (especially natural ones) and its relationship with writing, creativity, and interior worlds is fascinating, so I found this to be a worthwhile look into some female writers who explored these themes both in their works and their lives.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I really enjoyed and savored reading this book, imagining myself walking the pathways of all the women who were adventurous enough to walk them and contemplate the world they were living in...Thankfully some of them recorded their observations, and later shared them to the world, and appreciate how the author brought them to our attention, and reflected in her own observations how they did or did not impact her. Enjoyed looking up the many places the women highlighted walked and being introduced I really enjoyed and savored reading this book, imagining myself walking the pathways of all the women who were adventurous enough to walk them and contemplate the world they were living in...Thankfully some of them recorded their observations, and later shared them to the world, and appreciate how the author brought them to our attention, and reflected in her own observations how they did or did not impact her. Enjoyed looking up the many places the women highlighted walked and being introduced to them.

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