Wainwright Revealed Book

£18.00

A new insight into AW's achievement, his place in the tradition of guidebook writing and a life that was essentially solitary.

About This Product

WAINWRIGHT REVEALED by Richard Else (author) 

It was the most unlikely of relationships. Britain's most distinguished guidebook writer, a man in his late seventies and a young, inexperienced documentary film-maker who was less than half his age. Yet Richard Else persuaded Alfred Wainwright out of the shadows and onto the nation's television screens. In doing so, the highly reclusive Wainwright became the most unlikely of celebrities and his films with Eric Robson were amongst the most popular programmes on the small screen. 

Wainwright Revealed is not simply the inside story of those films - films that, Richard argues, did more than anything else to spawn today's Wainwright 'industry'. It also explores how, for the first and only time in his life, Wainwright agreed to work collaboratively with another person. Richard provides a new insight into AW's achievement, his place in the tradition of guidebook writing and into a life that was essentially solitary. 

192 pages long and richly illustrated with over 70 photographs, the book explores the forces that motivated Wainwright - forces which AW almost certainly did not fully understand - and uncovers a more complex individual than previously thought. 


Eric Robson's foreword to the book:

When Richard first mentioned this book to me and outlined the themes he hoped to address in it I confess that I didn’t think he’d be able to carry it off. Surely we only ever scratched the surface of Alfred Wainwright’s complex character. Even after all the months of filming together the passions that drove him remained locked in his private, silent world. 

Yes, we made him into an unlikely television star but it was on his terms. Yes, he grew to trust us more as series followed series but to the end if I asked him a question that threatened to stray over the boundaries he’d set all I’d get was a long sigh and a cloud of Three Nuns tobacco smoke. Against that background Richard had surely set himself an impossible task. 

I was wrong. Richard has produced a book that’s entertaining and knowledgeable in equal measure. I should never have doubted him. It was, after all, the young Mr. Else who persuaded A.W. to sup with the devil in the first place and against his better judgement agree to work with us television chappies. It was Richard who persuaded him that being interviewed by Robson wasn’t a stepping stone to purgatory and that talking about how and why he produced his Pictorial guides wouldn’t in some mysterious way diminish them. 

The book also reminded me that however cantankerous Wainwright could be at times he was also great company. He had a Sahara-dry sense of humour and a philosophical and poetic turn of phrase sadly lacking in the work of so many guide book writers. Richard’s fondness for and knowledge of Wainwright have created a readable and fascinating new portrait of a charming, gentle and obsessive man. 

There’s also the odd giggle at the expense of a certain reporter who had the tricky job of trying to extract more than a dozen words a day from his unwilling interviewee. But of course that’s what reporters are there for. 

Eric Robson

0 Reviews