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Susan Chitty and

Thomas Hinde

 

 

 

 

Susan Chitty and her husband, Thomas Hinde (his pen name) have been writing side by side for fifty years.   Susan’s first work of fiction, The Diary of a Fashion Model’, was serialised by Punch then published  as a book in 1958.  She then wrote three novels and many acclaimed biographies.

She is now working on a biography of the poet and children’s writer, Eleanor Farjeon.

Horses had always been her passion.  As a small child she believed she was a horse. 

Thomas's first novel, Mr Nicholas (1952), was described in the Herald  Tribune as  ‘the best first novel (with one exception) ever written by a novelist of his age.’  Since then he has written  some 14 novels, and his new one, In Time of Plague, was accepted  this Christmas.

Susan and Thomas have always been passionate travellers.   When they left Nairobi they drove to Capetown in a dilapidated Landrover with their first two children,  Andrew and Cordelia.   In America they travelled for a whole long vacation from the Atlantic to the Pacific and then up the west  coast.  But southern Europe has  always been their passion and they have travelled many times in Spain, Italy and  Greece as well as Turkey and Hungary. For a time they lived in a ruined farmhouse in Tuscany. In 1973 Thomas edited an anthology of writing about Spain. (1973).

 

The Great Donkey Walk

Susan Chitty and Thomas Hinde

ISBN 1590482158

 

 

When biographer Susan Chitty and her novelist husband, Thomas Hinde, decided it was time to embark on a family adventure, they did it in style.

Arriving in Spain in time for the Ascension Day fair at Santiago, they bought two donkeys whom they named Hannibal and Hamilcar. Their two small daughters, Miranda (7) and Jessica (3) were to ride Hamilcar. Hannibal, meanwhile, carried the baggage. Travelling on foot were Thomas and Susan, son Andrew, and the family dog, Iago.

The walk they planned to undertake was nothing short of the breadth of southern Europe, and would take them along the mediaeval pilgrim trails to the shrines of northern Spain, the route of Sir John Moore to Corunna, of Roland in the Pyrenees, and of Hannibal and his elephants through the Alps. They would winter in Italy above Lake Trasimeno and set out again in the spring across the Adriatic to Greece where they would mingle tracks with Edward Lear before reaching Salonica.

It was not all plain sailing. There were bogs to flounder into and elusive donkey smiths to pursue, not to mention the river which arrived in the night and calamities for both little girls.

Yet during the journey Jessica Chitty qualified to become the youngest Member of The Long Riders’ Guild.

The story of the Chitty family travels—funny, perceptive, fresh and highly individual—offers a completely new perspective of four countries which the car-bound tourist sees with different eyes.

Travelling with Susan Chitty and Thomas Hinde on “The Great Donkey Walk” is a leisurely and continuing pleasure, enriching for all lovers of southern Europe.

For more information, please go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble.

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