Wanderers - A History of Women Walking


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With a Foreword by Kathleen Jamie

'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 and The Wild Silence

'Andrews features a wonderful cast of characters . . . It still feels somehow radical to talk about women ramblers and flâneuses; the sensitive, well-researched portraits in Wanderers rightly begin to redress the balance.' The Idler

'The reader of Kerri Andrews's Wanderers: A History of Women Walking laces her boots and strikes out with ten women who walked, wrote and wrote about walking . . . [She] shares the rapture of Virginia Woolf's cry: "Oh the joy of walking!"' Laura Freeman, The Critic

'Think of famous walkers and it's men like Wordsworth and Keats who likely spring to mind. But that's only half the story.' Country Walking Magazine

'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 who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers.

In a series of intimate, incisive portraits, 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, alternative view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing ‐ of being ‐ articulated by these ten pathfinding women.


'With the absorbing voice and attention to detail of a favourite hiking companion, Andrews unearths the forgotten women who have walked for creativity, for independence and self-discovery, to remember, to forget, to escape violence, to find physical and emotional strength.' Rachel Hewitt, historian, trail-runner and author of Map of a Nation

'Thanks to this book, we know that even in solitude we never walk alone. A fine female tradition is at our backs, encouraging us along.' Kathleen Jamie, author of Sightlines

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