Frontier Publishing Travel Writing

Tibetan pilgrims on Mt.Kailas parikarama

Frontier Publishing Travel Writing

Eye on the Hill ~ Horse Travels in Britain — The 2018 Illustrated Edition

Richard Barnes
Back in 1977 a 27 year-old man rode a 12 year-old cob through Wales, Scotland and England. For Richard Barnes, it was to be a long look at Britain, as the country passed beneath the horse's hoofs, mile by mile, through 33 counties. He edged around cities and through the hills, following every sort of route, from ancient tracks and drove roads to motor roads large and small. He never knew where he would end up at night, often tethering his horse Remus on the roadside, and meeting farmers, blacksmiths, and strange communities. His account of the journey is genuine and imaginative, with thoughts of writers such as R.L Stevenson and the poet, Matsuo Basho, as well as coal miners, drovers, druids and the hidden people. He comments on farm practice, country lore and modern society, yet the tone is gentle and nothing is examined in great detail, which helps the pace and encourages the reader to share another mile. Barnes packed a camera in the front saddlebag, but he wrote Eye on the Hill because he felt the pictures were incomplete. The book was published in the 1980s, with a U.S edition after the Millennium. It has been described as 'one of the most captivating books in modern equestrian literature' and 'a beautifully written, gentle story of one man and one horse as they travel through a Britain on the edge of change'. Adverse criticism, "too short" came from a reader disappointed to reach the end of the journey. It is a bit longer now.

THE 2018 ILLUSTRATED EDITION has many more photographs, some full-page and a few of them in colour. With an atmosphere of Time travel, they show the horse and rider, the view from the saddle, and the roads they went along. There are minor corrections and some extra text about William Cobbett's Rural Rides, but the writing has not been brought up to date and remains a story of 1977 revisited.

216 pp. H/b. ISBN: 978-1-872914-50-3. £19.77

" One of the most captivating books in modern equestrian literature. It is poetry set to the sound of a horse's gentle clip-clop. It is a tale of the gradual uncovering of the secrets of back-country Britain. It is a sweeping away of pedestrian restraint. It is magical music sung to the tune of the lark singing and the saddle creaking on a warm summer's day. Amply illustrated with stunning photographs taken by the author during his journey, Eye on the Hill is part prophecy, part travelogue, and always engaging".
—The Longriders Guild 2004

" A beautifully written gentle story of one man and one horse as they travel through a Britain on the edge of change. It is a story of characters – the character of the horse, the man, the people, and above all, the country".
—Horse Magazine July 2006

" I wonder how many of us have wanted to ride a horse around Britain, at some time or another, but found excuses why not….The journey's rhythm beats at 19 miles a day, the book is a genuine read of the moments known by every horse traveller, and having enjoyed reading it, I hope it inspires the next generation".
—Christina Dodwell 2005, explorer, Longrider and author of A Traveller on Horseback in Eastern Turkey and Iran, and other books

" Although he was not aware of it at the time, it was a journey in a sequence that, in a sense was as historic as that of some of his illustrious predecessors like William Cobbett and George Borrow who travelled on a similar journey and saw the countryside from the back of a horse. I enjoyed reading Richard Barnes's book and I believe it will get the same response from those readers who may have the quiet satisfaction of sharing another man's description of our countryside".
— George Ewart Evans (1909–1988) oral historian and author of The Horse in the Furrow, Horse Power and Magic and several other titles

"Books like this should be banned. They give the deskbound among us feelings of wanderlust that we can't fulfil. Richard Barnes set off on a remarkable journey with his horse, covering 1500 miles through thirty counties. This is an eminently readable account of that journey describing the route as it could only be seen from the back of a horse. And it reveals a good deal of the somewhat romantic and idealistic character of the author through his snippets of homespun philosophy, pungent political, social and religious comments and some intriguing snatches of history and archaeology".
—D. Paull, Eastern Daily Press

" Personal Experiences are well mixed with history and comment on the rural scene - a relaxed easy book, a welcome breath of simple sanity in a mad world".
—BBC Radio Cumbria

Calling from Kashgar - A Journey through Tibet
Rod Richard
An account of travelling to Tibet, when there were fewer restrictions, thence to Mt.Kailas, holiest of all mountains. Studies in Chinese and Political Science give the author valuable insight into Tibetan nationhood.
208pp. H/b. ISBN: 978-0-9508701-7-5 £12.95