MacFarlane, Robert “The Old Ways” (Viking 2012)

There are two intertwined histories of modern wayfaring. One involves the willful wanderer, the Borrovian or Whitmanesque walker, out for the romance of the way. The other–a shadow history, darker and harder to see–involves the tramps, the hobos the vagrants, the dispossessed, the fugitives, the harmed and the jobless, bodging life together as they ‘padded’ it down the roads…The second half of the nineteenth century saw the final breakdown of a guild culture in England which had lasted since the early medieval period, whereby workers would be notified of employment and would walk to find it (314).

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