John Hillaby - Writer, Explorer and Yorkshireman

 

24th July 1917 - 10th October 1996

The writer and walker John Hillaby, whose classic Journey Through Britain inspired countless other romantics to tread the nation's paths, died at the aged of 79.

Hillaby scored bestseller success with his series of Journey books, which describe in wry and self-deprecating tones the meditative joys of walking at an unhurried pace. The son of a Yorkshire printer, he grew up with an abiding love of the environment and learned his craft as a journalist on local papers before serving the Manchester Guardian, the New York Times and New Scientist as a specialist on nature, environmental and scientific subjects.

His first book which received widespread acclaim was Journey to the Jade Sea, published in 1964, describing his account of leading a caravan of camels 1,100 miles across the North Kenyan desert in search of Lake Rudolph. This was followed by Journey Through Britain, 1968, which remains in print, Journey Through Europe, 1972, Journey Through Love, 1976, Journey Home, 1983, and finally Journey to the Gods, which told of his walk to Mount Olympus, 1986.

A tall man with a shock of white hair and a matching beard, he combined a clarity of vision and an agility with words which inspired not only readers but famous walkers of younger generations. Among them was Ffyona Campbell, who turned to Hillaby for advice before she embarked upon her epic trek across Africa.

Journey through Britain
Journey through Europe
Journey to the Jade Sea
Walking in Britain 1992
A walk through Britain
A walk through Europe 1972
John Hillaby's London
Journey home 1983
Yorkshire: The moors & Dales 1986
Journey to the Gods 1991
Journey Through Love 1976
Hillaby's World: Tundra to the Tropics - Adventures Across Three Continents 1980
Nature and man (Progress of science series) 1960
WIthin These Streams 1949

john @ johnhillaby.co.uk

 

 


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