‘I could go anywhere I liked in the world. There was nothing to stop me, I would be penniless, free and could just pack up and walk away.’
Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 54: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.
When Laurie Lee set out on foot from his home in the Gloucestershire village of Slad one midsummer morning in 1935 he knew he was saying farewell to the idyllic country boyhood that he would later capture so unforgettably in Cider with Rosie. He was 19 and off to see the world with only his violin for company. He was aiming for London but decided to go via Southampton because he had never seen the sea. And so began a year of wandering that would take him from the north of Spain south to the Mediterranean. This brilliant evocation of the vanished Spain of the 1930s is unsentimentally observed and darkly haunting, like a painting by Goya.
Please do read on for an extract from the opening of this book. We hope it provides some welcome armchair travelling and inspires wanderlust in these still times. As Justin Marozzi writes in his preface to our edition:
‘There seems something pleasingly necessary . . . about revisiting one of the great literary road trips, which celebrates movement for the sake of it and revels in youthful, devil-may-care vagabondism in a Europe basking in its last years of peace.’
With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Hattie & Jess