Author(s): Mike Parker
Mike Parker, bestselling author of Map Addict, is back with a very full, intelligent and witty exploration into a glorious and passionate British subject - footpaths and the history of land ownership. Mike discovers how these paths have become part of our cultural landscape and why, at the tender age of 44, he suddenly finds himself at a crossroads. Provocative, funny and personal, this book celebrates Britain's unique and extraordinary network of footpaths. It examines their chequered and surprisingly turbulent history, from the Enclosures Acts of the eighteenth century to the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire; and from the hard-won post-war establishment of great National Trails like the Pennine Way to the dramatic latter-day battles by the likes of Nicholas van Hoogstraten and Madonna to keep ramblers off their land. The story ranges far and wide, to all corners of the country and beyond, and is filled with the many characters that Mike engages with along the way - the poets and artists, farmers and ramblers, landowners and Rights of Way officers and campaigners, historians, archivists and anyone else who crosses his path (or even tries to block it).
On Map Addict: 'Mike Parker offers an exhilarating celebration of the humble map.' Mail on Sunday This excellent book on the pleasures of maps and navigation, which is also a withering attack on the infantilisation of the satnav age'. Daily Telegraph 'A highly engaging and thoughtful, haphazard and personal, meander around maps and map-related arcane.' Daily Mail 'This eclectic, funny and warm book should be on the shelves of everyone who has spent hours staring at a map.' The Great Outdoors 'A witty entreaty to leave the satnav in the car, and to head for the hills with the Ordnance Survey.' BBC Country File magazine On Wild Rover: 'A kind of mini-biography of the British psyche emerges from Parker's work, its learning lightly worn and its tales well told, full of interest and incident.' Horatio Clare, New Welsh Review
Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programmes for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Mirror.