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In the tradition of Colin Fletcher’s The Man Who Walked Through Time and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, Edward F. Stanton has written a quietly beautiful and engrossing account of his own pilgrimage. Road of Stars to Santiago is a personal story of his journey along what has been called “the premier cultural route of Europe.”
“I undertook a five-hundred-mile walk along the ancient Camino de Santiago, from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostella in northwest Spain, the supposed burial site of the apostle St. James the Elder, and beyond to Finisterre, Land’s End on the Atlantic coast.
“On my journey I followed the old road whenever possible, passing through mountains, medieval forests and remote villages, as well as modern towns and cities. I slept in fields, abandoned schools or wherever I could, on a thirty-day trip that brought me into contact with a whole cross-section of Spanish society, and with pilgrims from France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and England.
“Most of the book has to do with my own trials and joys on the Road: the physical struggle to walk about twenty miles a day in the heat or rain, to find a place to eat and sleep; with the psychological changes that take place when one leaves home, family and routine; with the contradictions inherent to a pilgrimage in the late twentieth century; with experiences that ranged from the spiritual to the picaresque; with the people I met on the way—from shepherds and peasants to astrologers and philosophers. There are plenty of humorous situations and unexpected turns.”
—Edward F. Stanton
Edward F. Stanton is a professor of Spanish at the University of Kentucky and the author of Hemingway and Spain and other books on various aspects of Hispanic life.
"For those who know this area of Spain, Road of Stars to Santiago is a delightful revisiting of familiar sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. At the same time, it offers an intriguing introduction to the cult of St. James and insight into many aspects of Spain and Spanish life."—Bowling Green Daily News
"The story of one man’s pilgrimage, taken at a crisis point in his life. . . . A journey of the spirit as well as the body." --British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain
"A warmhearted book that is compelling and certainly beautiful."—Daily Yomiuri
"The journey to Santiago de Compostela has beckoned pilgrims through the ages. Edward Stanton has joined this host of believers and recounts his adventures with stylish conviction."—James A. Michener
"For anyone interested in making the journey, this would be a good place to start."—Library Journal
"A beautifully written story that blends personal experience with folklore, legend, the wisdom of old chronicles and canny observations of life in modern Spain."—Back Home in Kentucky
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Edward F. Stanton, Pilgrims, Pilgrimages, Spain, Santiago de Compostela
Stanton, Edward F., "Road of Stars to Santiago" (1994). European History. 27.
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