The cover of the new edition of A Pennine Journey

The cover of the new edition of A Pennine Journey

A new edition of a seminal work by the author and illustrator Alfred Wainwright has been published by the society formed to promote study of his work.

A Pennine Journey is Wainwright’s account of a long-distance walk undertaken in the 1930s as the storm clouds of war gathered over Europe.

It was written in 1938 but lay unpublished for 48 years after the Kendal-based writer had gained fame and plaudits for his series of hand-illustrated guidebooks to the Lakeland fells and on the Pennine Way.

The new edition of A Pennine Journey is being published by the Wainwright Society and includes new material not originally printed.

The society’s secretary Derek Cockell said: “In 1938, at the height of the Munich Crisis when all the talk was of war, Alfred Wainwright escaped from the suffocating atmosphere of fear and despondency at home and headed for the Pennine hills on a walking holiday that took him from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall and back in 11 days.

“On his return, he spent the following months writing an account of his journey in the style of a travelogue, recalling the people he had met along the way and expounding his philosophy and beliefs on a variety of subjects.

“This book, his first, was originally named Pennine Campaign, but was later changed to A Pennine Journey.”

Wainwright first revealed the existence of the unpublished book in the text of Wainwright on the Pennine Way, published in 1985. In the section about Hadrian’s Wall, he recalled his walk undertaken in 1938 and his editor asked to see the manuscript and then persuaded him that the book should be published, which it was in 1986.

Mr Cockell said: “What was not known at the time was that Wainwright had produced other material suggesting that he was keen to have the book published: an advertising flyer, photographs and a book review, written using the pen-name, Frederick Hornby.

“He also sent a series of postcards to Lawrence Wolstenholme, a colleague in the Blackburn treasurer’s office. The postcards featured the earliest known landscape sketches drawn by him, the first five almost certainly drawn at home and posted to Lawrence along the way.”

The additional material is included in the new edition and the society said it hopes that it may help to attract new, and old, readers to enjoy what some consider to be his finest work.

A Pennine Journey is the first of a limited number of out-of-print books to be republished by the society. Mr Cockell said: “To follow, all being well, as Wainwright used to say, are: The Outlying Fells of Lakeland; Walks on the Howgill Fells; and Walks in Limestone Country.

“The aims in republishing these titles are to keep the books in print as well as meeting one of the principal objects of the society: to keep alive the fellwalking traditions promoted by Alfred Wainwright through his guidebooks and other publications.”

More details of how to order the publication are on the Wainwright Society website.

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