The book recounts Borrow’s experiences, insights and personal encounters whilst touring Wales alone on foot after a family holiday in Llangollen in 1854. Although contemporary critics dismissed its whimsical tone, it quickly became popular with readers as a travel book and more importantly as a very lively account of the literary, social and geographical history of Wales. Borrow’s engaging character comes across especially in his meetings with various itinerants – mostly native and peasant – along the muddy Welsh path. Borrow’s keen ear for dialogue may remind us of a Dickens or Trollope, and like the latter his wit and wisdom are rarely absent. Indeed the author has been described as an “eccentric, larger-than-life, jovial man whose laughter rings all through the book”.
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