Dolman Travel Book of the Year announced

02 October 2013

The co-winners of the 2013 Dolman Travel Literature Book of the Year Award were announced last week as Robert Macfarlane for his book The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Hamish Hamilton) and Kathleen Jamie for Sightlines (Sort of Books).

The prize is awarded annually by the Author’s Club for books that ‘instil a sense of place, excitement and wonder in the reader.’ For the first time the prize was shared because of the high quality of the short-list, hinting at the flourishing nature of this genre. Travel writing has a strong tradition, stretching back to Homer’s Odyssey through Marco Polo and Charles Darwin and continued by authors such as these winners, whom the judges praised for ‘extend[ing] the scope and boundary of modern travel writing.’

It isn’t only travel literature that we seem to have an endless appetite to create and consume; paintings, sketches and the now ubiquitous camera are all other ways in which we record, capture and display our travel experiences. What are the motivations behind the immense popularity of travel literature and art? What is it to ‘travel’ and why do we do it?

The ITC’s Why Travel? project aims to explore these questions by looking not only at art and literature but at a wide field of human knowledge including biology, psychology, economics and philosophy. Our goal is to engage the public and decision-makers in thinking more deeply about why we travel and thus to inform better policy and travel planning. You can explore the project further through our website where you can watch experts talk on these issues and read our research.

If you have any comments or anything to contribute to the project, please do get in touch. In the meantime, the ITC extends warm congratulations to the Dolman Award winners!