When Gill Brackenbury opened the notebooks left by an English grandmother she hardly knew, she had unwittingly stumbled across something extraordinary.
Eve’s Journey: 1923 is Doris Eve Brackenbury’s diary of her walk from England to Scotland with her pack donkey, Hotep. The author tells us more…
Eve was spirited, droll, controversial, always had an enquiring mind and loved to shock people – oh, and always enjoyed her evening whisky.
Being brought up in New Zealand I barely knew Eve, my English grandmother. When she died she left a handful of rather nondescript notebooks, diaries of her ‘Donkey Tour’. I was lucky – they were given to me.
Although quite curious about them I didn’t appreciate what I had until beginning to read them: I was completely floored. What an amazing journey in 1923 for a lone young woman and her delightful donkey – and what an unusual, intelligent, and resourceful person she was. This was a story to share!
The authenticity of her 30 year old voice is striking: daily intimate diary notes about her thoughts and feelings, her sometimes risky encounters, humorous observations and some off-the-wall interests and experiences. And all the while you are immersed in the 1920s.
Eve’s long walk would have been very lonely and more hazardous without Hotep, her donkey. Hotep was reassuring company and together they tackled some dreadful weather and isolated moors. There was hardship and no high-tech weather gear at that time – just strong shoes, breeches and a warm coat. So too they shared hot days, beautiful countryside and some funny happenings.
Eve loved Hotep and seemed tuned-in to how her donkey was feeling; talking and sometimes singing to her. She loved Hotep’s calm, quiet (mostly) and accepting presence which gained a lot of friendly attention. Hotep also protected Eve and her intervention once saved Eve from harm. Even when she was exhausted, Eve made sure that Hotep was dry, safe and fed at night.
I began this writing project in the 1990s and as time went on much more information became available on the internet. The more I read and researched to validate, or provide footnote documentation for, Eve’s experiences the more I realised I had a rather unique story about a brave and at times outrageous woman who did some extraordinary things. Her very matter-of-fact attitude to men and sex, courage to push boundaries and her wry humour captured my imagination.
As Eve’s story unfolds, however, there is laid bare a very human predicament. With this in mind it wasn’t until recently that I felt it was the right time to publish her story. Now this is done, I hope that with some laughter and perhaps some sadness you can enjoy Eve’s and Hotep’s journey.
FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!
Courtesy of Gill, there is a free hard copy of the book available for one lucky Donkey Wise follower. Just comment below, and the person who posts our favourite comment will receive a book!
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED
Thank you to everyone who entered, I enjoyed reading all of your comments! Donkey Wise is delighted to announce Terri Posner as the winner. A personally signed copy of Eve’s Journey: 1923 is on its way to you. Congratulations!!!
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- This contest is open to Donkey Wise followers anywhere in the world, aged 18 and over.
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Have donkey, will travel: Woman’s intrepid 1923 journey revealed Horsetalk.co.nz
2 x Eve and Hotep, Shap Fell, Cumbria, U.K. Sept 1923
Book cover: Eve and Hotep, Dyneley House Private Hotel, Skipton, U.K. 1923
Copyright 2020 Amy Swift