Decade after decade, readers in Scotland have been pulling Always a Little Further off the shelves and finding it a fascinating and delightful narrative. There’s an inspirational quality to this classic of literature penned in 1939 by famed BBC broadcast journalist Alastair Borthwick.
Always a Little Further is about adventures in nature. It tells of the experiences Alastair Borthwick accumulated during his many treks into the rugged Scottish Highlands and hiking remote regions of the British Isles. Borthwick’s uncanny ability to put readers in the scene and his engaging sense of humor makes the book still seem fresh 80 years after it was first published.
Alastair Borthwick is a native Scot, born in Rutherglen in 1913. He was raised in Troon and later Glasgow. There he attended Glasgow High School. At age 16 he made a move that would shape the rest of his life. He took a job as a copyboy with the Evening Times. Doing no writing at first, Borthwick soon talked his way into real reporting work. It became quickly apparent that young Mr. Borthwick had a knack for turning a fine phrase.
He moved on to the Glasgow Weekly Herald, working as a general assignment reporter. He began to contribute to a section of the paper called “Open Air.” This column featured stories of outdoor adventure, especially rock climbing and hiking the vast realms of the Highlands. Alastair Borthwick’s Open Air pieces were gobbled up eagerly by local readers. It would lead to his now-famous book, Always a Little Further.
Alastair Borthwick was destined to write another classic of Scottish literature, a book titled Sans Peur. This was the true account of Borthwick’s incredible experiences serving as a soldier during World War II. It was the story of Borthwick’s regiment as it fought across the battlefields of Europe. Sans Peur was unique in that it was written from the viewpoint of a junior officer. Once again, Borthwick’s command of the language and ability to enthrall readers made Sans Peur a national bestseller.
Alastair Borthwick died at the age of 90 after a long and successful career as a BBC journalist.