Guy Stagg walked 5,500 km from Canterbury to Jerusalem, following medieval pilgrim paths, and he records the expedition in The Crossway. It was a journey from darkness to light, as the author, who suffers from mental illness, looked for redemption. It was also a considerable feat, especially as Stagg proclaims lugubriously at the outset: ‘I’m not much of a walker!’
He stayed in convents, monasteries, in his tent, in disused schools or the homes of strangers, and, later, in mosques. He crossed the Alps in winter in order to make Rome for Easter, and it took him six days to clear the Apennines. On the trail, he reflectsa good deal on what he has been through — a breakdown, suicide attempts, the nature of mental illness.