Elaine Steane (née Fullard) is the daughter of a cartographer and a geographer so grew up being able to identify glacial moraines and U-shaped valleys. She has an enduring love of maps. The Seven Shires Way is her first book and has been adopted by Girlguiding Oxfordshire for their 2010 centenary Big Walk Challenge. She has also written The Roman Way, a 174-mile walk, on the theme of Roman roads, using public rights of way.
As a nurse, she specialised in the prevention of heart disease and stroke, for which work she was honoured with an MBE. The 'Human MOT' was part of this work and promoting walking across the countryside was among recommendations for benefiting physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Elaine is a member of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and the Oxfordshire Ramblers. She holds the Advanced Diploma in Environmental Conservation from the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education.
Her latest book is Soapsud Island, a collection of oral histories from the former laundry district in Sunnymead, Oxford. It is available from Blackwells bookshop, Oxford.