IN ETHOPIA WITH A MULE
Dervla Murphy set out with her pack-mule Jock, on a hazardous trek through Ethiopia’s remote and hostile regions. Inspired by stories of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, she hoped to find there beauty, danger, solitude and mystery. Instead, she encountered rough terrain, exhaustion, illness and the disorder of the Ethiopians’ domestic affairs – all of which she conquered with endurance and good humour. Despite being robbed three times, Murphy found the Ethiopian highlanders were unusually hospitable. Out of her dependence on them and her increasing familiarity with the way of life grew a close and warm understanding. On reaching Addis Ababa, she concluded that affection for Ethiopia’s people was the richest reward of her journey.
'One of the supreme virtues of Miss Murphy as a travel writer is that she is human. She needs her drink; she craves her cigarettes; she is capable of losing her temper; she smuggles things through customs. A more virtuous figure would be far less endearing.' The Daily Telegraph
'Dervla Murphy’s credentials are more than a brave heart and strong calf muscles … the fruit of these mature wanderings for my money, puts her among the select travel writers of the last two decades. She is a great bridger of human chasms as well.' The Observer
'An admirable woman …she has a romantic soul and a keen eye.' TLS
'What makes Dervla Murphy’s travel books different from any other is that though she may wonder at the landscape, she does not dwell on it. She alone dominates her books.' The Daily Telegraph