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Alfred Wainwright - Lover of the Lakeland Fells

June 04, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Northwest England's Lake District, also known as Lakeland, enjoys immense popularity today, and is a favorite destination for those who wish to enjoy the serenity of nature. Fell walking is considered to be the best way to explore the valleys and peaks of the geographically unique Lake District, and though many have been written, the most respected guides and picture records of the region are those written by Alfred Wainwright. Born in Blackburn, Lancashire in January of 1907, Wainwright was always a smart student and very resourceful. Wainwright worked constantly throughout his childhood, and when, in 1930, he had saved up enough money to afford a modest vacation, he chose the Lakes District as his destination, sparking what would become a lifelong love affair with the area.

Although it meant taking a pay cut, Alfred Wainwright accepted the position of Borough Treasurer in Kendal, Westmorland in 1941 just to be closer to the fells. He would remain in that position until his retirement in 1962. Given his immense affection for the Lakeland, it is no wonder that Wainwright began planning what would eventually become a seven volume guide to the fells in 1952. Although the works, called the Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, would become beloved by those who would follow Wainwright in his love of the Lake District, they were originally intended only for his own enjoyment and gratification. In fact, if left up to Wainwright, the books may never have become published, due to his aversion to finding a publisher. His friend, Henry Marshall, Chief Librarian of Kendal and Westmorland, noticed Wainwright's talent and finally took over publicity of the book, and is credited as the publisher in the early editions.

Besides the pictorial guides, Alfred Wainwright is the other of over 40 other books focusing on the Lakeland Fells, including over 20 books of drawings, nine color illustrated books, a map of Westmorland and Antiquarian Map of Cumbria, and several autobiographical works, including Fellwanderer: The Story Behind the Guidebooks which was released in 1966.

When he passed away in 1991 because of a heart attack, Alfred Wainwright left behind a legacy in his books and a wealth of knowledge that other fell walkers would depend on for decades to come. Since they were written, Wainwright's Pictorial Guides have never been out of print, selling over two million copies worldwide. In his honor, the 214 fells described in the Pictorial Guides are known as 'the Wainwrights.'

Martin Hiltlyne is currently working in a camping outlet that enables him to be close to his hobby which is outdoor life and adventure. A graduate of the University of Life, with a strong knowledge of outdoor activities he has been responsible for encouraging people to change from boring TV stay at home's to outdoor explorer's. Visit Walking Fells and learn more about enjoying the outdoor life.

Source: EzineArticles
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