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And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History [Paperback]

Charlie Connelly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 Jan 2010

The landscape of the British Isles is filled with history, much of which we miss as it flashes past the car window. Do we even realise that we're following the same path as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, or that we're driving past the exact spot where King Harold was killed, shot through the eye with an arrow? As a lover of both history and the British countryside, Charlie Connelly decided to rectify this, and set out on a series of walks that recreate famous historical journeys. En route he retells the story of the original trip while discovering who and what now inhabit these iconic routes.

Walking in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Charlie journeys alongside Boudicca's ghost in Norfolk, relives Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight to Skye disguised as Flora MacDonald's maid and takes the same 32-mile round trip as the starving Louisburgh famine walkers. He suffers broken toes, becomes trapped in the Scottish Parliament and encounters dead poets and a surprisingly high number of mad old women in woolly hats.

Told with Charlie's customary charm and wit, And Did Those Feet will reveal the historical secrets hidden in the much-loved coastal, country and urban landscapes of Britain.

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And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History + Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast (Radio 4 Book of the Week)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (21 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349120889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349120881
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster.

He is the author of ten books, including the bestselling 'Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast', and 'And Did Those Feet...: Walking Through 2000 Years Of British And Irish History'.

'Attention All Shipping' is one of the biggest selling travel narratives of the past decade, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and the audio version was voted the second greatest audiobook of all time in a Guardian/Waterstones poll in August 2008. 'And Did Those Feet' was also a Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Martin Freeman.

Charlie was a presenter on the BBC Holiday programme, his first film for which won the Silver Thistle Award for international broadcasting.

He co-presented the first three series of Traveller's Tree with Fi Glover for BBC Radio 4 and devised and presented the acclaimed documentary 'Noel Coward, The Poet' for the same channel. He has been a regular guest on 'Excess Baggage' and has also appeared on BBC Radio 2, RTÉ Radio 1, Newstalk 106.2 and BBC Five Live. Charlie was shortlisted for the 2008 British Guild of Travel Writers' Radio Award for his work on Traveller's Tree.

He has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Times, New Statesman, Arena, Irish Times, Sunday Times, Glasgow Herald and - much to his accountant's amusement - the Financial Times. He has also written comedy scripts for RTÉ Radio One and wrote the well-received comedy show What's The Story?, broadcast in January 2011, for the same channel.

Charlie is a popular and entertaining public speaker, having lectured at the Royal Geographical Society, sold out the Edinburgh Festival and spoken at numerous events and festivals with venues for his solo appearances ranging from a sold out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the Toller Porcorum Village Hall in Dorset.

He has sung Blue Moon of Kentucky live on Uzbek national television with the country's biggest pop star, is an official ambassador for a breakaway Lithuanian republic, was once hounded by the UK national press after being falsely accused of intending to invade Rockall, was presented with an honorary team shirt with his name on by the Liechtenstein national football team and has been chased across the Great Plain by Hungarian gangsters. They thought he was someone else, but fortunately he didn't notice until they were arrested.

Charlie was born and raised in London. He now lives in Dublin.

Product Description


For IN SEARCH OF ELVIS: 'A really, really good idea ... Connelly is an eminently affable, agreeable guide' DAILY MAIL * 'A thoroughly enjoyable exploration of an icon and his legacy' DAILY EXPRESS Praise for ATTENTION ALL SHIPPING: 'One of those simple yet brilliant ideas' Daily Mail 'What a great idea for a book' - Scotland on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* A wittily told journey through time as the author walks a series of famous historical journeys, uncovering British heritage and discovering the contemporary landscape.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another great read from a brilliant author 28 July 2010
Charlie Connelly's naturally light hearted writing style suits this book brilliantly. Much of the success of the book can be attributed to the ease with which he delivers both historical information and travel anecdotes - at no point sounding forced or superfluous.

Despite possessing only a limited knowledge (and perhaps only a passing interest) of the historical figures covered, I was drawn in by the author's infectious enthusiasm for discovery. There is also a great range of history covered, spanning several thousand years and a wide area of Britain.

Not only has this book encouraged me to get out and about, it has broadened my horizons from the other Connelly titles I have read and enjoyed, 'Stamping Grounds' and 'Spirit High & Passion Pure'. Fellow readers of those books can be reassured that 'And Did Those Feet' touches on football nostalgia. For those who may wonder how football has its place in the story, the brief indulgence is suitably justified and contextualised!

This book will suit anybody with even a light interest in British history, the outdoors or travel writing. Its approachable style makes it an enjoyable read for either serious reading, or simply dipping in and out when time allows. A refreshing perspective on the history of these islands, 'And Did Those Feet' is without doubt one of the best books I've ever read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good fun - part history, part travelogue and part gentle, self-depreciating humour.
His first walk along Boudica's rampage through East Anglia and London took him past my house which serves to emphasise one of the author's key messages: history is on our own doorsteps and all around us. He manages to get across alot of the relevant history behind each walk without ever making you feel as if you are reading a text book and I would be amazed if anyone reading it isn't inspired to be just abit more curious about the streets they walk down, towns and villages they visit and historical monuments they come across. Whether his various mishaps, encounters and the rank bad weather he walked through encourage people to get out walking I am less certain.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Part Travelogue; Part History Lesson 22 Jan 2009
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History Lesson and walking Tour 25 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book as it combined two real interests of mine history and walking. Charlie has picked a number of famous charecters from History (Harold, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie & others) and retraced a particular memorable journey they made. He does a really good job of mixing the history of the characters and the journey they made into his present day walk. The book is funny he relays the tribulations of long distance walks well and he is obviously fond of a drink as a good many nights seem to be spent in pubs en route. The final walk concerning the famine walk has a particular personal note for me as my mother came from Louisburgh so i can confirm the scenary is stunning. Excellent book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A very enjoyable and educational book. I learned more about British history from this book than I ever did in the classroom. Charlie Connelly is better than Bryson in my opinion and I look forward to his next book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny 27 Aug 2010
By Suzi
Charlie Connelly has the gift of putting you right in the place of history - I almost want to don a pair of walking boots and retrace his steps. I love the way he describes the charaters he meets on the way. This book will certainly put a smile on your face as well as increasing your knowledge of some of the more obscure characters our history throws up. Buy it you will love it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read
An interesting and different take on these long journeys, I then moved on to 'Attention all Shipping' and his journey round the unknown locations of the shipping forecast areas.
Published 9 months ago by mr eric hartley
5.0 out of 5 stars LOL....
Not often I laugh out loud at a book....but this one hits the spot several times!! Wonderfully written : amusing yet informative. Read more
Published 18 months ago by LadyHawk
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie does it again !
Like other Charlie connelly Books i have read ,a joy to read and easily digestible food for the brain !
Published 20 months ago by MR P G HENDERSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
Gorgeous little reading book. takes you on a journey through time and space. nie to revisit places that I knew in my youth.
Published 21 months ago by kathquaide
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Delightful
This is quite simply one of the best books about the UK that I have ever read. The mixture of fascinating history and modern travelogue is balanced perfectly. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2012 by Russell Bowden
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Come on Charlie. i read Attention All Shipping and loved it. But Did Those Feet is more about Charlie's feet than those ancient feet which walked our green and pleasant land. Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2012 by J. TREE
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, enjoyable with a lovely touch of humour
This is the second book by Charlie Connelly that I have read, having enjoyed his 'Attention All Shipping'. Read more
Published on 12 July 2012 by Dubbyagee
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is the second book I have read by Charles Connelly and I'm hooked. His style of writing is full of fun. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by buttercro55
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative.....too informative
I have read all of Charlie's books, and this is up to standard is that it is quite amusing, and almost charming, However - in my view - it has too much "history". Read more
Published on 7 May 2011 by Worker Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars one mans view
What a first class read!As usual,Charlie Connelly hasn't disappointed us,his work is informative,humorous,eminently readable.I for one,look forward to his next offering.
Published on 31 July 2010 by biro parker
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