Sunday 3 December 2017

Guest Review: Wild Rover by Mike Parker

Mike Parker, bestselling author of Map Addict, offers a very full, intelligent and witty exploration into a glorious and passionate British subject - footpaths and the history of land ownership.
Mike discovers how these paths have become part of our cultural landscape and why, at the tender age of 44, he suddenly finds himself at a crossroads.
Provocative, funny and personal, this book celebrates Britain’s unique and extraordinary network of footpaths. It examines their chequered and surprisingly turbulent history, from the Enclosures Acts of the eighteenth century to the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire; and from the hard-won post-war establishment of great National Trails like the Pennine Way to the dramatic latter-day battles by the likes of Nicholas van Hoogstraten and Madonna to keep ramblers off their land.
The story ranges far and wide, to all corners of the country and beyond, and is filled with the many characters that Mike engages with along the way - the poets and artists, farmers and ramblers, landowners and Rights of Way officers and campaigners, historians, archivists and anyone else who crosses his path (or even tries to block it).

This book is described as a follow up to a previous work by Mike Parker entitled "Map Addict". However, its subject matter is different, being concerned with the history and nature of Britain and Ireland's extensive network of footpaths. The book describes the evolution of paths and rights of way, and their characteristics, in various different areas of the country. The author also describes his own experiences of walking some of the Long Distance Paths. It is clear that he has a great love of the countryside (and also of maps). In addition, there are highly illuminating descriptions of some of the individuals he met whilst researching the book and walking the paths, and it is these that bring the book to life.

Like his previous work, the book is suffused with the author's wry humour and insight. I found it an enjoyable read, and it almost made a confirmed townie like me reach for a cagoule and backpack.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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