Here lie the roots of Dervla’s gift for friendship, her love of writing, her curiosity, her hatred of cant, her hardiness and her desire to travel . . .
What is it that makes us who we are? In this beautifully written and searingly honest autobiography, the intrepid cyclist and traveller Dervla Murphy remembers her richly unconventional first thirty years. She describes her determined childhood self – strong-willed and beguiled by books from the first – her intermittent formal education and the intense relationship of an only child with her parents, particularly her invalid mother whom she nursed until her death.
Bicycling fifty miles in a day at the age of eleven, alone, it seems only natural that her first major journey should have been to cycle to India.
‘An extraordinary book, reflecting an extraordinary woman and one of the great travellers of our time.’ The Times
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