A Book of Escapes and Hurried Journeys by John Buchan.
I have never yet seen an adequate definition of Romance, and I am not going to attempt one. But I take it that it means in the widest sense that which affects the mind with a sense of wonder—the surprises of life, fights against odds, weak things confounding strong, beauty and courage flowering in unlikely places. In this book we are concerned with only a little plot of a great province, the efforts of men to cover a certain space within a certain limited time under an urgent compulsion, which strains to the uttermost body and spirit.
Why is there such an eternal fascination about tales of hurried journeys? In the great romances of literature they provide many of the chief dramatic moments, and, since the theme is common to Homer and the penny reciter, it must appeal to a very ancient instinct in human nature.