Eothen – Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East by William Kinglake
My thanks to Eland Publishing for a copy of this book – parts of it I loved with a passion, other parts I wanted to tear out and jump on. But I never wanted to give up.
William Kinglake is so young and opinionated that it’s a shock to meet him, especially with two centuries of hindsight. It’s like meeting the worst of the British Empire in one person. His voice is brilliant, bizarre, unbelievable in places, and stunningly arrogant in others.
Wheels within Wheels – The Making of a Traveller by Dervla Murphy
I bought this book a while back and then left it sitting in the bottom of a drawer. Bad idea. If there’s anyone who shouldn’t be shut away, it’s Dervla Murphy.
She flew out of the pages.
Our host for the day in London
I had the idea, I had the material, but I couldn’t see the shape … and I didn’t have a clue about what to do next with my fragile bubble of a plan. That was until last Saturday when my confusion switched suddenly to focus.
The ‘I-think-I-get-it’ moment was thanks to a Guardian masterclass programme on planning and pitching non-fiction. There were 14 of us in the class, all adrift with various book ideas. Our trainer was Jenny Rogers who has published seventy non-fiction books – here’s some of the advice she passed on.