Novelists and poets have long held that walking and writing are closely connected. Now there’s research to back up that claim.
Among the past literary luminaries known to be avid walkers were Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Henry David Thoreau. But perhaps the most celebrated walker-writer was William Wordsworth, who always seemed to be ambling down country lanes, hiking up mountains or wandering “lonely as a cloud.” His friend, essayist Thomas De Quincey, estimated that Wordsworth “must have traversed a distance of 175 to 180,000 English miles” on foot.
Following in Their Footsteps
Susan Froetschel(link is external), author of the critically acclaimed novel Fear of Beauty, counts herself among the current generation of perambulating writers. “As I walk along familiar streets in my neighborhood, I think about my writing and observe my surroundings, gathering descriptions of trees and sky and weather,” Froetschel says. The mental impressions she collects may eventually find their way into descriptive passages in her books.
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