John Hanson Mitchell
Books Essays Biography Contact

Legends of the Common Stream

Bright Leaf,

Travels in a Vanishing Empire

Komatic Press,

An Eden of Sorts

Perseus Books,

The Last of the Bird People

Wilderness House Press,

The Paradise of All These Parts: A Natural History of Boston

Beacon Press

The Rose Cafe: Love and War in Corsica
Shoemaker & Hoard,
Looking for Mr Gilbert: The Reimagined Life of an African American
Shoemaker & Hoard,

Following the Sun: Fron Spain to the Hebrides

The Wildest Place on Earth: Italian Gardens and the Invention of Wilderness
Trespassing: An Inquiry into the Private Ownership of Land
Perseus Books,
Walking Towards Walden: A Pilgimage in Search of Place
Perseus Books,
Living at the End of Time
Houghton Mifflin,

A Field Guide to your Own Backyard,
Countryman Press,

Ceremonial Time: Fifteen Tousand Years on One Square Mile
Perseus Books,


"… The author is a sensualist, a lover of literature, deep time, and old night, and his ramble is tailor-made to feed these passions.'s his willingness to stop and smell the flowers that makes him such a companionable writer...Few won't wish they were riding in Mitchell's slipstream, sharing in all the sun and stories and places, the wine and the food."
- Kirkus

Following the Sun:
From Spain to the Hebrides
Counterpoint, 2002

In this ultimate feast of armchair travel, Mitchell recounts the adventures  of a 1500-mile ride on an antique Peugeot bicycle from the port of Cadiz, north to the Outer Hebrides following all along the way the myths and legends associated with the sun. As he rides north with the European spring, he explores Moorish Spain, the wine country of  Bordeaux, Versailles (the palace of the “Sun King”), Wordsworth’s Lake Country, and precipitous Scottish highlands. Having started on the day of the spring equinox, he finally reaches a solar temple on the isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in time for the summer solstice.  In true Mitchell fashion, this journey is bejeweled with myth, natural history, and ritual – Roman sun cults, the migrations of birds, the setting of sugars in wine grapes, the solar lore of Easter processions -- all revolving around the ancient bonds between earth and the cycles of seasons. The journey is as delicious as it is fascinating, with any number of very  good meals, and  with an appeal for all those who are drawn to the European countryside, wine,  picnics under castle walls, sheep,  spring flowers, terraced vineyards, history, or ritual; in short, to everything under the sun.

© 2021 John Hanson Mitchell
All rights reserved