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The Path to Rome

Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ent as he wandered on about 'leaving on your left the stone we call the Nuggin, and bearing round what some call Holy Dyke till you come to what they call Mary's Ferry'... and so forth. Long-shoremen and the riparian inhabitants of dreadful and lonely rivers near the sea have just such a habit, and I have in my mind's eye now a short stretch of tidal water in which there are but five shoals, yet they all have names, and are called 'The House, the Knowle, Goodman's Plot, Mall, and the Patch.'

But here in Rupt, to my extreme astonishment, there was no such universal and human instinct. For I said to the old man who poured me out my coffee under the trellis (it was full morning, the sun was well up, and the clouds were all dappled high above the tops of the mountains): 'Father, what do you call this hill?' And with that I pointed to a very remarkable hill and summit that lie sheer above the village.

'That,'. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is one of Belloc's walking books. His first one, where he describes his journey from England to Rome. Wonderfully funny and insightful as he describes his encounters and difficulties making the trek. Plus it is a bit quirky in how this is all related. I was grinning throughout this read.

I also

I listened to an audiobook version, narrated by Robert Bethune. Initially, I had an issue with the reader, but then his smartass take worked well for Belloc's tone.

The book was written in the early 20th century by Belloc, recounting his walking pilgrimage to Rome. (Spoiler: you don't get to hear an

Belloc takes the reader with him on his pilgrimage from Toul, France to Rome with his musings, drawings, and songs. It’s a lovely read for his style; rather than a solitary journey, Belloc makes you feel as if you’re in conversation with a company of voices with ‘lector’ and ‘auctor’ and the unforge

This is a travel book; it is a history book; it is a humor book; it is an art book; it is a literary book; it is a theology book. It is a book about the land; it is a book about people; it is a book about God; it is a book about not taking yourself too seriously. I was extremely sad when this book e

First published in 1902 and continuously in print ever since, Hillaire Belloc’s The Path to Rome chronicles his journey from his birthplace near Toul in France to Rome, “the centre of the world.” An ardent Catholic, Belloc is decidedly on a pilgrimage. But, a canny writer as well—one of the most pr

I was introduced to Chesterton, Belloc and Ronald Knox by a freshman English teacher (why yes, he was Catholic). The only fiction in the bunch, as I recall, were some wonderful detective stories by Chesterton and Knox. In fact Msgr. Knox, the first Catholic chaplain at Oxford for four hundred years,

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