This NHBS-curated list is intended to provide an overview of the numerous versions and revisions of the walking guide series A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, colloquially known as the Wainwright Guides, some of the most famous walking guides in England.
A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells is a series of seven books written by Andrew Wainwright, detailing the fells (the local word for hills and mountains) of the Lake District in northwest England. Written over a period of 13 years from 1952, they consist entirely of reproductions of Wainwright's manuscript, hand-produced in pen and ink with no typeset material.
The series has been in print almost continuously since it was first published between 1955 and 1966, with more than 2 million copies sold. It is still regarded by many walkers as the definitive guide to the Lakeland mountains. The 214 fells described in the seven volumes have become known as the Wainwrights. Alfred Wainwright died in 1991 at the age of 84.
In 1992, a year after Wainwright's death, the publisher Michael Joseph took control of all of Wainwright's books, including the Pictorial Guides, a change of which Wainwright himself was in favour. When they ceased publication in 2003, the rights were bought by Frances Lincoln, who currently resides over the series. They have three versions in print:
- The original books were reissued as a 50th Anniversary Edition for which the pages were freshly reproduced from the original artwork, and printed and bound to match the original books as closely as possible, with maps and text as Wainwright wrote them.
- A second edition of the series was published between 2005 and 2009, and revised by Chris Jesty, who helped Alfred Wainwright with the maps for two of his large-format books. Shortly before he died, Wainwright said that if ever the Pictorial Guides were to be revised, Chris Jesty should be given the job.
- For the third edition of the series, currently in progres, Frances Lincoln has involved Clive Hutchby, author of The Wainwright Companion.