Kerri Andrews is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Edge Hill University. She writes about literary history, particularly untold or forgotten histories, and has published widely on women’s writing. Her book, Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, published by Reaktion in September 2020.
Tracing the footsteps of ten women walker-writers from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter – who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England – to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed, Wanderers offers a beguiling, alternative view of the history of walking.
Kerri is also one of the leaders of Women In The Hills, an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project aimed at exploring the factors enabling and inhibiting women's access to upland landscapes. The project brings together people from all areas of walking, mountaineering, land access and management, to drive change in women's access and experiences.
Kerri is the General Editor of Nan Shepherd’s letters, the first ever edition of Shepherd's, which will be published in 2023 by Edinburgh University Press. She is also a keen hill-walker and a member of Mountaineering Scotland.
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Getting interested in writing about women and walking
Living in Scotland
Getting into walking
Heading off to university and doing her PhD
Deciding to get down to a healthy weight
Starting to play squash
Her first trip up Snowdon
Connecting with people via Meet Up
Co-Leader of Women in the Hills - Research Network. What hinders & enhances women's experiences of the hills?
What the research is showing
Wanderers: A History of Women Walking
Starting to write the book in 2012
Doing the research over the years
Focusing on women over the past 300 years
Being inspired by; Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt
The power of walking
Having her first child and the struggles of finding child care
The power of Cheryl Strayed writing
What it means to be female on the trail
Female bodies and how they open up new possibilities
Finding the information for the book
Why women’s walks don’t get taken notice off
Doing other kinds of walking
Getting the book published
The Literary Consultancy
Being inspired by Nan Shepherd
First edition of Nan Shepherd’s correspondence to come out in 2023
Key takeaways from the book
The idea of a female tradition
Book - Wanderers: A History of Women Walking
This is a book about ten women who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers.
In a series of intimate, incisive portraits, Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson's daughter Elizabeth Carter ‐ who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England ‐ to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed.
For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia Woolf did around Bloomsbury.
'With the absorbing voice and attention to detail of a favourite hiking companion, Andrews unearths the forgotten women who have walked for creativity, for independence and self-discovery, to remember, to forget, to escape violence, to find physical and emotional strength.' Rachel Hewitt, historian, trail-runner and author of Map of a Nation
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