The Island That Dared Wheels Within Wheels: The Makings of a Traveller

Publisher: Eland
Published: 2010
Format: Classic Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-906011-41-3
: £12.99
Extent: 256pp

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What is it that makes us who we are? In this beautifully written and searingly honest autobiography, the intrepid cyclist and traveller Dervla Murphy remembers her richly unconventional first thirty years. She describes her determined childhood self – strong-willed and beguiled by books from the first – her intermittent formal education and the intense relationship of an only child with her parents, particularly her invalid mother whom she nursed until her death.

Here lie the roots of Dervla’s gift for friendship, her love of writing, her curiosity, her hatred of cant, her hardiness and her desire to travel. Bicycling fifty miles in a day at the age of eleven, alone, it seems only natural that her first major journey should have been to cycle to India.

'Top of the intrepid class: conventional travel writers seem impossibly pallid by contrast.'  FT

'Humour and sturdiness are only the half of it: Dervla Murphy is that rare traveller who can make the world seem both wider and more intimate.' The Observer

'An extraordinary book, reflecting an extraordinary woman and one of the great travellers of our time.'  William Trevor, The Times

'I relish immensely her energy, her humour and the compassionate eyes with which she regards the world…you feel at the end of the book that some understanding of life has been added to your personality.' The Irish Press

'This is a book ot give strength to the weakest of us and courage to the most timid.'  Benedict Kiely, Hibernia

'A woman of rare understanding … Her wonderfully funny yet serious book, elegantly writeen and full of relish, convinces one that to be truly civilized is to be, and to rely on, oneself.'  Now

'Her reflective account of her own spirit during these 30 years is as fascinating as any of her many adventures in Tibet and Baltistan.'  Mary Sullivan, The Sunday Telegraph