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The Independent Culture
These unabridged recordings, read by two of the best voices in the business, will delight admirers of Alfred Wainwright's famous handwritten and drawn guides to the Lakes. Wainwright was an intensely private man and his autobiography Memoirs of a Fell Wanderer (Chivers, 3hrs 30 mins, pounds 9.95, Tel: 01225 443400), acerbic but with flashes of lyricism, is all he wanted us to know about him. Those who want to retain his spiritual flavour should leave it at that. Less fastidious inquirers will enjoy Hunter Davies's frank Wainwright:The Biography (Chivers, 12hrs, pounds 16.99) for the passionate love letters 58-year-old "Red" wrote to his second wife.

Christina Hardyment