In this wonderful book, Kerri Andrews explores how walking became an integral part of the lives of ten women writers spanning the last three centuries. She gives a brief biography of each of woman, describing how their walking informed their writing. Andrews also shows how, for many of these women, walking was a daring, transgressive act.
Some of these women’s names—and, in a few cases, their writing—were already familiar to me, while others were completely unknown. Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journals have long sat on my bookshelf unread. I’ll soon be doing something about that. The wonderful Nan Shepherd is there, of course, as is Virginia Woolf. I was particularly delighted to learn a lot more about the brilliant Harriet Martineau, who, up until now, I had only really been aware of due to her scandalous (in the eyes of the family) relationship with Charles Darwin’s brother, Erasmus. And as for Sarah Stoddart-Hazlitt, estranged wife of fellow essayist William Hazlitt, if someone doesn’t make a film about this poor woman soon, they’re missing a trick.