William Lindesay OBE is a British geographer, a research fellow at his alma mater, Liverpool University, and a recipient of The Special Award of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
After a milestone journey of 2,500 km on foot along the Great Wall in 1987, Lindesay returned to China in 1990 to retrace sections of the Long March. Since 2000, he has dedicated himself to the Great Wall in a myriad ways. He lives beside a section of Wild Wall at Jiankou, and has published six books on the subject, including Alone on the Great Wall, The Great Wall Explained and The Great Wall in 50 Objects. Lindesay received the Friendship Award of China in 1998, was made an Officer, Order of the British Empire by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2006, and was awarded the Great Wall Friendship Medal of Beijing in 2008.
William Lindesay arrived in red-tape China in 1986 to try to do the impossible — a journey on foot along the entire length of the Great Wall. Wild Wall—The Foundation Years tells the story of his daring west-to-east endeavour, staggered and rerouted by multiple arrests and interrupted by a deportation from which he found a way back. He recounts the incredible hospitality he met along the way, and a whirlwind romance with the woman he was to marry. The book also takes us with William on the trail of Chairman Mao’s Long March, on foot, and recounts other baffling experiences in a China then still physically and psychologically separated from the outside world, just as the Great Wall intended. Wild Wall—The Foundation Years, is an extraordinary narrative of ancient, revolutionary and reforming China.
“William is a living legend, and his Great Wall love story is a film script in the making.” — Dame Joanna Lumley, actress, activist