A Traveller’s Year: 365 Days of Travel Writing in Diaries, Journals and Letters is a treasure trove of travel writing. Edited by Travis Elborough and Nick Rennison, the book’s extracts (of which there are two or three for each day of the year) span 500 years of exploration and over 200 writers. Here follows an example of what is to be found inside:
28 April - THROUGH NORFOLK BY TRAIN In an ambling country train from Aylsham to Dereham (in Norfolk) I did not read and sat looking out of the window. First I counted the telegraph posts. When I got to ninety-nine I thought this was a silly waste of time. I looked at the wild flowers on the embankments. The physical effort of pinning the eye on an object from the moving carriage and swivelling the body round soon made me giddy. I desisted. Instead I looked at the faded photograph under the luggage rack of children paddling on Yarmouth sands. The vision palled. James Lees-Milne, Diary, 1943
Other contributors include Roger Deakin, Charles Darwin, Isabella Bird, Lewis Carroll, Gertrude Bell, Graham Greene, Simone de Beauvoir, Jack Kerouac and Alan Bennett. A Traveller’s Year’ is out now.