In A Walk in Ireland, Michael Fewer has assembled a selection of descriptions of pedestrian travel throughout Ireland during the past two hundred years. Through Fewer's selection of articles, excerpts, letters and journal entries we experience the beauty of high moors and mountains, see the conditions of the peasantry improve from poverty to wealth, mark the evolution of politics and society, and most of all enjoy the pleasures of exploring Ireland on foot. Samuel Johnson's hilarious description of a walk that ended with a fall into the Liffey, J.B. Malone's early journal entries telling of his discovery of the Wicklow mountains and Eric Newby's account of a pilgrimage ascent of Croagh Patrick are only a few of the fascinating stories brought together in this collection. The interests of the contributors are many, from the antiquities of the countryside to drinking and singing, from botany to the delights of mountain-climbing and from superstition and folklore to the quality of inns. What they all share however is that they travelled on foot and therefore their experience of the countryside and people was considerably more immediate and intense than could ever be gained from any form of travel. A Walk in Ireland will take the reader, whether an enthusiastic walker or an armchair traveller, on a colourful and eventful journey through time and the Irish countryside.
Michael Fewer is the best-selling author of many walking books including The Way-Marked Trails of Ireland (Gill and Macmillan 1996). One of those responsible for the resurgent interest in leisure walking for the urban population in Ireland, his knowledge of Irish topography and countryside matters such as flora, fauna, geology, archaeology and folklore is unsurpassed.