Alastair Borthwick, the Scottish literary legend, is revered for more than his depictions of early 20th Century sporting activities of Glaswegian working class families. He’s also remembered for his first person, brilliantly engaging accounts of his time at war through fictional conduit personalities.
His reminiscient 1939 memoir, “A Little Further“, explores the growing adulation for nountaineering and hiking amongst those living on Glassgow’s east-end. According to his accounts, when the populpace wasn’t busy etching out as much prosperity as they could muster in volatile economic times, they found peace and solace through weekend excursions. Capturing such a unique, niche piece of history is what sets Alastair Borthwick apart from others of his time and beyond. The book is still available under a few publishing houses including Faber & Faber, Diadem Books, and Eneas MacKay. The book is a classic that has spawned a genre of novels revolving around rural athletics.
For example, “The Undiscovered Scotland: The second of W.H. Murray’s great classics of mountain literature” by W.H. Murray, is a personal recount of the author’s grueling adventures camping across Clachaig Gully, Observatory Ridge, Glencoe, and the near death event of Falloch. Eric Shipton’s “Mountains of Tartary: Mountaineering and exploration in northern and central Asia in the 1950s” is an exloratory tale about climbing in northern and central Asian mountain regions and the valuable lessons learned focusing on human nature.
Perhaps one of the most pivotal times for Alastair Borthwick was his service as Lieutenant for the 5th Seaforth Highlanders. Born from this experience was one of the best books regarding the details of military history. Although the book mixes fiction with non-fiction, the book’s efficacy is under no discount. Critically acclaimed to this day, the manuscript is available. Some copies have fetched up to $500 online. He enjoyed a long career as a writer and media broadcaster.