Friday, July 08, 2016

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

From one book to another and another leads the trail.

After reading James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, I had already put Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on my mental re-reading list.
Then a friend posted a link to a programme about Robert Louis Stevenson, and Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. 

As an inveterate walker, though never with a donkey, and not for many years with camping gear or anything like, I had to read it again.  Sometimes he slept in inns, often sharing a room with others, sometimes he camped out under the stars. The book is a great mix of descriptions of scenery, reflections on the people he met, his own thoughts and feelings and the history of the region.  
The Cévennes area was the site of religious conflict between Protestant Camisards and Catholics at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and Stevenson met people from both faiths, leading him to make comparisons with the Covenanters in Scotland. 
And it leads me to reflect on the way religious differences divide communities and people even now.
But the lasting impression is of his appetite for adventure and discovery.
So onwards to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. . . 


T Euro said...

If we take a donkey along with us, I'll tell you what it was like to walk in the Cevennes with one !

aliqot said...

I look forward to it! I bet the locals have changed a bit since RLS's day.