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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 14:30 GMT
Wainwright guides saved
Lake District
Wainwright spent 13 years writing the Lakeland guides
Alfred Wainwright's famous illustrated guides to the Lake District are to be reprinted in his home town.

Publisher Michael Joseph - part of the Penguin group - announced in January that it was to stop printing the pen-and-ink guides after 50 years, due to declining sales.

Now the hand-written guides are to be given a new lease of life and returned to their spiritual home.

Cumbrian John Nicoll, managing director of Frances Lincoln Publishers, said his firm would publish the guides and return the printing to Kendal in accordance with the author's original wishes.

Alfred Wainwright
Alfred Waiwright wrote more than 50 books

Since Wainwright - known as AW to his legions of followers - published his first book, a "love-letter" to The Eastern Fells in 1955, his books have sold more than two million copies.

Mr Nicoll said: "We are really thrilled to be publishing these books which I have known all my life.

"As a boy who was born and brought up at the foot at Kentmere in the heart of the Lake District, I remember treasuring each new volume as it was published.

"Now I am honoured to be the publisher of these extraordinary books and look forward to introducing them to a whole new generation."

Bestselling books

Wainwright's widow, Betty, added: "I am delighted that the new publisher has local connections and I'm sure AW would have been very pleased."

Her husband took to rambling at the age of 23 after a holiday to the Lake District from his home in Blackburn, Lancashire.

He moved to Kendal in 1941, spending all his spare time on the fells near his new home.

Wainwright spent 13 years writing and illustrating the seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells - dubbed the backpack bibles.

He then went on to devise the Coast-to-Coast walk and wrote guides on Scotland, the Pennine Way and his bestselling book, Fellwalking with Wainwright.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Mark Batey
"Wainwright's books will be printed in Cumbria"

Click here to go to BBC Cumbria
See also:

14 Jan 03 | England
09 Jan 03 | England
28 Oct 02 | England
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