A lone woman on a bicycle (with a revolver in her trouser pocket) was an almost unknown occurrence . . .
When Dervla Murphy was ten, she was given a bicycle and an atlas, and within days she was secretly planning a trip to India. At the age of thirty-one, in 1963, she finally set off and this book is based on the daily diary she kept while riding through Persia, Afghanistan and over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. Undaunted by snow in alarming quantities, and using her .25 pistol on starving wolves in Bulgaria and to scare lecherous Kurds in Persia, her resourcefulness and the blind eye she turned to personal danger and extreme discomfort were remarkable.
‘Continuously entertaining ... continuously astonishing.’ Sunday Telegraph
Unable to pedal but still able to walk, I had found inspiration in a battered copy of Eight Feet in the Andes wedged between the clothes and the spare tubes in my pannier. In the early 1980s, its...Read more
Ad Hoc through Afghanistan
Which century are we in? Which country? Nicolas Bouvier’s vignette in The Way of the World won’t puzzle those of us (a rapidly dwindling cohort) who can remember Afghanistan during the reign of...Read more
Soon after my Dublin grandfather’s death in 1946 several heavy teachests were delivered by rail to our Lismore home. My father gleefully pored over the numerous bulky tomes: the Works of Samuel...Read more
It is peculiarly exciting to turn a page and find a strong personal emotion exactly distilled – an emotion hitherto believed to be one’s private idiosyncrasy. Around the age of 13 most bookish...Read more