A Wayfarer in Belgium

  1. Details
  2. Description
  3. About the Author
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Where to Download or View


Author: Fletcher Allen

Publisher: Methuen London

Publish Date: 1934


I refer to this book quite a bit because the author devotes some time exploring the small villages of the Ardennes, especially along the Meuse and Ambleve Rivers; areas which are great for Beer & Hike adventures. There are also a lot of interesting personal observations about Belgium. Published in 1934, this book is among my ‘youngest’ classic travel books. It is not clear what year the described travels actually took place. The summer of 1934 was when Hindenburg died and Hitler consolidated his dictatorship. He had been in power already for one year. So even if the travels had been in 1933, Hitler would have been big news and the rise of Germany would have been on the mind of any traveller. However, the author seems oblivious to the current events and writes about Belgium as the country still rebuilding from the destruction of World War I, which ended in 1918. To be fair, I have not read the book cover to cover, but normally in these types of books, the Introduction at least will contain some kind of update of current affairs between the travels and the publishing which puts the travels in better perspective. Having some insight into the uneasiness of the times would have made this book a real gem. However, other than the occasional references to WWI, this book feels a bit generic, time-wise. Perhaps this is a reason why this book seems almost on the brink of being lost. There are copies floating around out there gathering dust in old libraries or popping up on EBay, but you will be hard-pressed to find a digital copy. This is a shame because there are some interesting nuggets in this book.

While I was walking back from the Quai, it struck me again that, for a little country, Belgium is very over-built. It is precisely what someone once called it — one long village stretching from boundary to boundary, occasionally swelling into towns and cities. And I suddenly tired of towns.

A Wayfarer in Belgium by Fletcher Allen (1934)

About the Author

Just like the book itself, the author seems almost forgotten. His full name is Edgar Fletcher-Allen and a search for him on the internet bears little fruit. He lived from 1887-1937 and is most known for his translation of the book Digging for Lost African Gods by Byron de Prorok as well as writing another of the Wayfarer Series for Methuen called A Wayfarer in North Africa.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Forty-Mile Promenade — ‘Ter Streepe’ — Ostend — The Coast Towards France — Nieuport — Furnes — Dixmude — ‘Long Max’ — The Battlefields — Ypres — Hill 60
  • The Coast Towards Holland — Blankenberghe — Knocke-le-Zoute — Middelburg and the Isle of Walcheren
  • The Pomp of Flanders
  • Bruges
  • Ghent
  • Courtrai — Oudenaarde — Tournai — Mons — Charleroi
  • Brussels — Waterloo — Laeken
  • Malines — Lierre — Antwerp
  • Louvain to Liege
  • The Ardennes — Spa — The Valleys of the Ambleve and the Ourthe — Huy — Marche-Les-Dames
  • Namur — Dinant — Anseremme — The Ardennes — La Roche — Bouillon — The Valley of the Semois — Bohan — Han — Arlon

Where to Download or View

Not available


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s