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“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.” —Søren Kierkegaard
Duncan Minshull has always walked and in the last twenty years has made use of it by writing and publishing books on the subject. He has described the whys, hows, and wheres of traveling on foot for various magazines and newspapers, including The Times (London), the Financial Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vogue. He has edited two other collections on walking: While Wandering: A Walking Companion (originally The Vintage Book of Walking) and The Burning Leg: Walking Scenes from Classic Fiction.
Walking and writing have always gone together. Think of the poets who walk out a rhythm for their lines and the novelists who put their characters on a path. But the best insights, the deepest and most joyous examinations of this simple activity are to be found in nonfiction—in essays, travelogues, and memoirs.
Beneath My Feet: Writers on Walking rounds up the most memorable walker-writers from the 1700s to the modern day, from country hikers to urban strollers, from the rationalists to the truly outlandish. Follow in the footsteps of William Hazlitt, George Sand, Rebecca Solnit, Will Self, and dozens of others. Keep up with them—and be astonished.
About the Author
Duncan Minshull is a senior producer at BBC Radio and the editor of various anthologies. He has written extensively about walking for newspapers and magazines. He lives in London.
"Beneath My Feet gathers 36 testimonies to walking’s invigorating literary power. Writers from Petrarch to Franz Kafka to Will Self have recorded their enthusiasm for, in Minshull’s words, 'ambling, rambling, tramping, trekking, stomping and striding.' Higher-quality endorsements of the creative value of walking than these would be hard to find." —Michael LaPointe, The Atlantic
"Here is a book as certain to lift the spirits as the activity to which it is dedicated: going for a walk. Beneath My Feet is a collection of writings on pedestrianism, shrewdly selected by Duncan Minshull, who, as the editor of two previous books on the subject, is emerging as the laureate of walking." —Andrew Martin, Country Life
"Beneath My Feet aligns nicely with Notting Hill’s mission, since walking and essay-writing both freely indulge the pleasures of digression. . . . This volume’s modesty of scale, as it turns out, is a plus. It’s small enough to slip in a jacket or knapsack — a portable book that can, providently, be taken out for a walk. The abiding message of Beneath My Feet is that reading, like walking and writing, is an unending source of surprise." —Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor
"We at the Idler are great fans of Notting Hill Editions, an independent publisher of beautiful hardback essay collections. In Beneath My Feet: Writers on Walking, the latest addition to their catalogue, radio producer and editor Dunan Minshull brings together writing on walking from Petrarch to the present day. Follow in the footsteps of George Sand, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf, Will Self and others, and discover why they saw walking as key to their creativity and wellbeing. As St. Augustine puts it, ‘solvitur ambulando’—it is solved by walking." —Idler