No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Robert Macfarlane is the author of the award-winning Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and The Old Ways. He is currently working on two new books: Landmarks, about language and landscape; and Underland, an exploration of the hidden worlds beneath our feet. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
This is a totally unique and breathtaking introduction to what lies beneath us, to the earth below our feet. Let this very special and beautiful book take you by the hand and lead you through the sunlit fields to the place where the underland begins, a place most human thoughts shy from in fear and confusion. This is a sequel to The Old Ways, yet you can begin here without concern, you can trust and join Robert Macfarlane as he explores the underland. I will admit that I am in love with the writing, the words, the vision that allows you to see and feel in darkness. I haven’t ever considered our deep connection to this stunning underworld in the way you are encouraged to here. Robert Macfarlane meets and shares experiences with people who have chosen to explore, to look beyond the obvious. I absolutely adored how much he shares, how accessible Underland is, his words reached out and connected with my thoughts and feelings, altering, reshaping, transforming. While there is plenty to fear for our future, all the time there are humans with this amount of love for our natural world, there is also hope. Underland is one of my picks of the month, and also one of our star books - it is quite simply stunning.
Shortlisted for The THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2014 - The new literary prize for Nature & Travel Writing about Britain. The Old Ways is the stunning new book by acclaimed nature writer Robert Macfarlane. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize 2012. Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world - a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations. Really do love it. He has a rare physical intelligence and affords total immersion in place, elements and the passage of time: wonderful . (Antony Gormley). A marvellous marriage of scholarship, imagination and evocation of place. I always feel exhilarated after reading Macfarlane . (Penelope Lively). Macfarlane immerses himself in regions we may have thought familiar, resurrecting them newly potent and sometimes beautifully strange. In a moving achievement, he returns our heritage to us . (Colin Thubron). Every Robert MacFarlane book offers beautiful writing, bold journeys...With its global reach and mysterious Sebaldian structure, this is MacFarlane's most important book yet . (David Rothenberg, author of Survival of the Beautiful and Thousand Mile Song ). Luminous, possessing a seemingly paradoxical combination of the dream-like and the hyper-vigilant, The Old Ways is, as with all of Macfarlane's work, a magnificent read. Each sentence can carry astonishing discovery . (Rick Bass, US novelist and nature writer). The Old Ways confirms Robert Macfarlane's reputation as one of the most eloquent and observant of contemporary writers about nature . ( Scotland on Sunday ). Sublime writing ...sets the imagination tingling...Macfarlane's way of writing [is] free, exploratory, rambling and haphazard but resourceful, individual, following his own whims, and laying an irresistible trail for readers to follow . ( Sunday Times ). Macfarlane relishes wild, as well as old, places. He writes about both beautifully...I love to read Macfarlane . (John Sutherland, Financial Times ). Read this and it will be impossible to take an unremarkable walk again . ( Metro ). Robert Macfarlane won the Guardian First Book Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Sunday Time Young Writer of the Year Award for his first book, Mountains of the Mind (2003) . His second, The Wild Places (2007) , was similarly celebrated, winning three prizes and being shortlisted for six more. Both books were adapted for television by the BBC. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
From the acclaimed author of The Wild Places comes an engrossing exploration of walking and thinking. In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual. Told in Macfarlane's distinctive voice, The Old Ways folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology, and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds-wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space but of feeling, knowing, and thinking.
Why do so many feel compelled to risk their lives climbing mountains? During the climbing season, one person a day dies in the Alps, and more people die climbing in this season in Scotland than they do on the roads. Mountains of the Mind is a fascinating investigation into our emotional and imaginative responses to mountains and how these have changed over the last few centuries. It is rich with literary and historical references and punctuated by beautifully written descriptions of the author's own climbing experiences. There are chapters on glaciers, geology, the pursuit of fear, the desire to explore the unknown and the desire to get to the summit, and the book ends with a gripping account of Mallory's attempt on Everest. Mountains of the Mind is a brilliant synthesis of climbing memoir and cultural history.
' Originality is only plagiarizing from a great many', remarked Rupert Brooke, stealing the line from Voltaire. Questions of originality, and accusations of plagiarism, are as old as literature, but different literary cultures have interpreted the relationship between originality and plagiarism in startlingly dissimilar ways. Original Copy investigates and documents the drastic reappraisal of literary originality and plagiarism which occurred over the course of the nineteenth century: from the heroic visions of original authorship that characterised the 1820s and 1830s, through to the stickle-brick creativity of Oscar Wilde and Lionel Johnson at the century's end. It reveals how ideas of originality and plagiarism were not only a theoretical concern of Victorian commentators on literature, but also provided many important Victorian writers - Eliot, Dickens, Reade, Pater, Wilde, and Lionel Johnson among them - with a creative resource. Moving between numerous different fields of thought and knowledge - literary criticism, the history of science, manuscript culture, anthropology - and written in a supple and elegant style, this book shows that the ideas of originality and plagiarism were the subjects of nineteenth-century literature, as well as what it was subject to.