Mathijs Deen / Mathijs Deen – Down Old Roads

Mathijs Deen – Down Old Roads

Mathijs Deen – Down Old Roads

Rights sold

  • DuMont Buchverlag (Germany)
  • Iperborea (Italy)
  • Solbitkil (South-Korea)


Read our sample translation of Down Old Roads


About the book

People have roamed throughout Europe for a million years. From the mysterious homo antecessor that left its footprints on the coast of England, to the traveller on today’s motorways. Under every footstep lies an older one, under every paved road a pack trail or wagon rut, under every footpath the prints of a hunter or prey. And yet, the long through roads of Europe do not hold a special place in the imaginations and identities of its residents. Why does the European have such an ambivalent relationship with the long roads of her continent? In search of the answer to that question, Mathijs Deen follows in the footsteps of the refugees, bandits, pilgrims, fortune seekers and conquerors who found their way along the coasts, rivers and roads of Europe, and tells their stories.

From prehistoric times and the Roman Era, through the Middle Ages to the Europe of today. From the Strait of Gibraltar to Stockholm,  from Rome to Boekelo. Down Old Roads is an adventurous journey through Europe and a fascinating trip through time.

Mathijs Deen celebrates the roads as a symbol for both the nomadic European and European unity.[...] His impressive historical knowledge allows him to move effortlessly through the ages. **** NRC HANDELSBLAD

An extraordinary empathic ability, a sound style, conscientious research and a flair for telling details. Every story is a sketch of a life, of a society, of a zeitgeist. **** DE MORGEN

What do you get when you combine history and travel stories with an intoxicatingly excellent writing? You get Down Old Roads...A masterly work. - 9/10 HET BELANG VAN LIMBURG

Mathijs Deen (b. 1962) works for a national radio programme devoted to historical documentaries. He has published a number of novels and collections of newspaper columns. His collection of stories Brutus heeft honger (Brutus is Hungry) received critical acclaim and was nominated for the prestigious AKO Literature Prize. His book The Wadden Islands was published in 2013.

Additional book information

  • World rights: Thomas Rap
  • Literary non-fiction
  • 416 pages
  • February 2018
  • Selected by The Dutch Foundation for Literature as one of the ‘10 Non-fiction Books from Holland’ 2018