When the Napoleonic wars denied young Englishmen the opportunity to undertake the continental ‘Grand Tour’ many set about exploring their own land, often on foot, and some wrote accounts of what they saw and what interested them. This historical novel, originally published in three parts between 2005 and 2013, purports to be such an account, written by a young man fascinated by antiquity. Each of the three accounts were snapped up by a growing band of enthusiasts and now the trilogy is published in a single volume for the first time, with a description of the real-life characters who appear in its pages.
In1807 South Wiltshire and its characters form the backdrop for young Londoner Henry Chalk as he takes to the footpaths and turnpikes in a trio of pedestrian excursions. With danger snapping at his heels the young pedestrian stumbles upon the founding fathers of archaeology who are intent on opening every prominent burial mound in the Stonehenge landscape. Love and mystery entwine the young walker like an ever-tightening creeper as he explores the sunken lanes and glaring chalklands, certain that the answer to mankind’s story lies not in the barrows but in the plough soil, as he finds the ancient flint tools from a forgotten population. As the young hero puts pen to paper to record his adventures, his own story unfolds whilst a shocking denouement awaits.