Alastair Borthwick is a Scottish writer who has penned 2 classics during his career about entirely different subject matters. He not only gave a voice to the common people who had taken up climbing during an economic depression that impacted the world, but he also served his fellow man during WWI in different positions in the military. His experiences in war and in climbing were chronicled in his books Sans Peur in 1946 and Always a Little Further in 1939.
When his book Always a Little Further was first written, his publishers were not sure that they wanted to take a chance on it. They didn’t think anyone would be interested in the experiences of Alastair Borthwick as he climbed through the highlands of Scotland conversing with the working people. In fact, Faber and Faber had declined the work at first until famed author T.S. Eliot championed for its release by the company. Eliot was on the board of directors for Faber and Faber and his decision led to them releasing the book which has not been out of print since 1939.
Alastair Borthwick was able to come across many interesting people and experiences while he climbed through the land. He talks about running into interesting people like tramps, hawkers, and tinkers while on his adventures and excitedly wrote about these experiences. While the publishers may not have had much faith in his writing before because of his new style and subject, readers everywhere enjoyed his work and it inspired many to get out there and hike. He was not the first author to detail their experiences as a hiker, but he was the first ever to tell the story from the perspective that he had.
Climbing had been considered a sport that was exclusive to the elite of society until the economy was in shambles and unemployment was at a high. People were off work and they needed something to do with their spare time. Alastair Borthwick fell in love with the sport and wanted to share this with the world so they could enjoy it as well.