Greetings from a red-hot Hoxton Square, where we’ve been celebrating and remembering the adventurous spirit and prolific travel writing of Dervla Murphy, the author and explorer who famously journeyed alone from her native Ireland to India on a bicycle, armed with little more than a pistol, a notebook and a compass. Dervla died peacefully, aged 90, at her home in Lismore on 22 May 2022.
Her good friend Hilary Bradt, of Bradt Travel Guides, said: ‘Dervla was a traveller who wrote, rather than a writer who travelled.’ Yet what a writer Dervla was. Her first book, Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle, was published in 1965, and more than twenty other titles have followed. Not to mention several articles for Slightly Foxed.
We’re sharing one such article with you today (which Dervla will have written on a typewriter and submitted via post – accepting her fee by cheque only). Please click here to read her piece on Nicolas Bouvier’s The Way of the World. We’ve also suggested a couple of recommendations for where you might like to begin when it comes to reading (or re-reading) about Dervla’s own adventures.
She was a wonderful champion of – and friend to – Slightly Foxed. It was a pleasure to work with her, and a greater pleasure still to have been informed and entertained by her insights on people and places, bicycling and beer.
With best wishes, as ever, from the SF office staff
Anna, Hattie & Jess
Photographs of Dervla Murphy courtesy of our friends at Eland Books