Alfred Wainwright's unique hand-drawn and hand-written Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells have been an inspiration to walkers for over 40 years. Yet despite many bestselling books and three television series, Wainwright remained an intensely private person.
With full access to Alfred Wainwright's private letters and unpublished material, Hunter Davies reveals a man more passionate, witty and generous than readers of his guides have come to expect. This biography throws a surprising light on a man who has been an enigmatic and misunderstood person.
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I love the way that Hunter Davies writes...I'm a big fan of his so I'm biased, BUT the book is so diverse from start to finish. From a humble start in Blackburn, to the dizzy heights of Borough Treasurer, a marriage where he was not very nice to his first wife Ruth and I felt very sorry for her and the way that he treated her, to the love of his life...this has it all.
I first read it about 10 years ago and I wrote to Hunter Davies to say how much I enjoyed it. He sent me back a lovely postcard of his house in Loweswater saying that I now had my very own postcard for the Lakes...what a charming man!
I guess the main thing was just how dedicated he was in his writings (13 years in the making for his Guides to the Lake District) plus the relationship with Betty his second wife and how late it was in life that he found her...and love...gives us all hope!
He brings the book to life and does a very good job of impersonating Wainwright, excellent stuff.
No, not really as it is too much to take in and it was great to revisit various chapters...
If you are a Wainwright fan this is a must, but if you are not it's still a great read and tells a real life fascinating story of an existence that is both sad and also a story of a man in love not with just the Lakes and beyond, but his second wife Betty. Hunter Davies also brings his very own stamp to it, with humour, charm and style... loved it from start to finish...
- John Hayes