Charlie Connelly's account of his walks through British & Irish history is for the most part highly entertaining and at times also fascinating.
Covering diverse episodes, from Boudica's uprising against the Romans to Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape to Skye disguised as a Scottish maid, it succeeds in its stated aim of shining a light on some slightly dusty corners of this country's history. Even as a man with an A-Level in history and two history teachers in my immediate family I found myself learning new facts about events I hitherto only had the sketchiest knowledge of.
Connelly also makes for an engaging guide, narrator and companion on the geographical and temporal travels he undertakes. He has a witty, self-deprecating and wry sense of humour but doesn't allow the comedy to become the book's focus. He's also good at distilling historical events down to the pertinent facts without missing out anything critical or making things too dry.
Almost inevitably some of the journeys he undertakes are more interesting than others. His attempts to retrace the steps of Boudica, King Harold and Bonnie Prince Charlie appealed to me most as they combined the best mix of history and travelogue. By contrast his trip across the Isle of Man retracing the journey of Olaf the Dwarf, King of Man, struggled to hold my attention as details of the author's journey came to the fore to mask the apparent lack of factual historical detail available about the little known Olaf.
Overall however, I enjoyed my time in the company of Charlie Connelly. Having not read any of his other books I cannot comment on how this one compares. I would however, recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in history or who, like me, enjoys a good walk.