Guy de la Bédoyère
Amberley Publishing, £18.99
Review Edward Biddulph
Anyone visiting Hadrian’s Wall is well advised to take a guidebook. There are many available, but one of the most useful is Guy de la Bédoyère’s handy volume. Though a slim book, it is packed full of detail. The introduction provides the essentials of the Wall’s history, its construction, and the army that lived along it. A selection of epigraphic and other historical evidence on which much of the chronology and history of the Wall is based is presented in the back. Sandwiched in between is a guide that takes visitors east to west from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway. Each site is briefly described and accompanied helpfully by a map reference, directions, and a note on the extent of visible remains.
The book is generously illustrated, though a few colour images would not have gone amiss. Despite its size, the book even finds space to challenge convention: the author boldly presents a reconstruction of the wall with no wall-walk or crenellations (the Rudge Cup, showing a stylised representation of the Wall and forts, is crucial evidence here).