I’ve read and re-read Wild Wales many times. It remains for me the most evocative travel book ever written, and brings us closer to the real George Borrow than any of his other works.
Wild Wales gives a stunning picture of how Wales would have been in 1854, not just the topography but the industrial and social conditions. But it is the pen-portraits of the people Borrow meets that lifts this way above the average travel memoir.
Along the way we find out a great deal about Welsh poets, a considerable amount about the medieval history of Wales.
Fascinating that at the time Borrow walked through Wales there were swathes of the population who didn’t speak English. Happily, Borrow spoke sufficient Welsh to bring these folk to life as well.
All of George Borrow’s books are well worth reading – he’s the most unfairly neglected of Victorian writers.
I’ve often longed to walk every step of Borrow’s 1854 journey, but it’s hard to do. He mostly walked what are now main roads. Not much fun for the modern pedestrian, though he does climb away from the highways from time to time. Perhaps better to do the route by bike…
But read Wild Wales and you’ll be seeing the place as Borrow saw it, captured in time in the summer and autumn of 1854.
If you are interested in Borrow and his writing please do visit the George Borrow Society website. There’s lots of fascinating stuff there. You can find it at http://georgeborrow.org/home.html
I’ve also written a little and basic e-booklet on Borrow, just 99 pence/cents. You can order it for your Kindle at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Footloose-George-Borrow-John-Bainbridge-ebook/dp/B00EPH9YD8/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Footloose+with+George+Borrow&qid=1569766091&s=books&sr=1-1