1900s London. For Patrick Bowley, fresh from rural Galway, a place of mind-expanding encounters with mystics, suffragettes, theosophists and free-thinkers. Drawn into the world of such luminaries as Jiddu Krishnamurti, Annie Besant and W B Yeats, it seems that Patrick is on a quest for meaning that will bear fruit. But a bruising failure in romance leaves him disillusioned with London and its class divisions and, in spiritual crisis, he flees to the familiarity of rural Ireland. But Patrick finds no peace and as Europe slides towards war and Ireland towards rebellion, his longing to shut out the world is challenged by a vocation to preach peace in Ireland that will not be quieted. And so he begins an epic pilgrimage to Dublin, arriving days before the 1916 Easter Rising. It is here that Patrick’s journey reaches a gripping climax – one that finally reveals the true nature of the ‘pathless country’. Winner of the J G Farrell Award and an Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Award, James Harpur’s debut novel deftly weaves a story of spiritual awakening with fin de siècle alternative thought, love and political history, exploring how conscience and spiritual quest survive in an atmosphere of war, sectarianism and class hierarchy.