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.
This sumptuous and comprehensive evaluation showcases Smith's 1815 hand-coloured map, A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland, and illustrates the story of his career, from apprentice to fossil collector and from his 1799 geological map of Bath and table of strata to his detailed stratigraphical county maps. The introduction places Smith's work in the context of earlier, concurrent and subsequent ideas regarding the structure and natural processes of the earth. The book is then organized into four geographical sections, each beginning with four sheets from the 1815 strata map, accompanied by related geological cross sections and county maps (1819-24), and is followed by displays of Sowerby's fossil illustrations (1816-19) organized by strata. Interleaved between the sections are essays by leading academics that explore the aims of Smith's work, its application in the fields of mining, agriculture, cartography, fossil collecting and hydrology, and its influence on biostratigraphical theories and the science of geology. Concluding the volume are reflections on Smith's later work as an itinerant geologist and surveyor, plagiarism by his rival - President of the Geological Society, George Bellas Greenough - receipt of the first Wollaston Medal in 1831 in recognition of his achievements, and the influence of his geological mapping and biostratigraphical theories on the sciences, culminating in the establishment of the modern geological timescale.
Landscape photography is one of the most popular genres for amateur photographers. Mastering the genre, however, takes time: time to perfect exposure, color, composition, and--perhaps above all else--the ability to see and record the landscape in a way that will make your photographs stand above the rest. This guide delves into the world of 16 leading lights, each with their own unique take on how, where, and why the landscape should be recorded. Through probing interviews and beautifully reproduced images, the reader is given an insight into the artist's working practices, from equipment to techniques. Glorious color photographs sit beside atmospheric monochrome, the latest digital techniques rub shoulders with traditional film-based imaging, and conventional landscape mores are countered by experimental artworks, guaranteeing something to inspire every reader. The book includes work by the following photographers: Marc Adamus, Valda Bailey, Sandra Bartocha, Mark Bauer, Thierry Bornier, Jonathan Chritchley, Joe Cornish, Ross Hoddinott, Daniel Kordan, Mikko Lagerstedt, Tom Mackie, David Noton, Colin Prior, Hans Strand, Lars Van De Goor and Art Wolfe.
From the bestselling author of UNDERLAND, THE OLD WAYS and THE LOST WORDS - an essay on the joy of reading, for anyone who has ever loved a book Every book is a kind of gift to its reader, and the act of giving books is charged with a special emotional resonance. It is a meeting of three minds (the giver, the author, the recipient), an exchange of intellectual and psychological currency, that leaves each participant enriched. Here Robert Macfarlane recounts the story of a book he was given as a young man, and how he managed eventually to return the favour, though never repay the debt. From one of the most lyrical writers of our time comes a perfectly formed gem, a lyrical celebration of the transcendent power and humanity of the given book.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE From the bestselling author of UNDERLAND, THE OLD WAYS and THE LOST WORDS 'Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly' Independent Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it. 'Enormously pleasurable, deeply moving. A bid to save our rich hoard of landscape language, and a blow struck for the power of a deep creative relationship to place' Financial Times 'A book that ought to be read by policymakers, educators, armchair environmentalists and active conservationists the world over' Guardian
In Silt, bestselling travel writer Robert Macfarlane walks the Broomway, the deadliest path in Britain.In one of the most striking chapters of his brilliant 2012 book The Old Ways, Robert Macfarlane walks the Essex offshore path which has claimed the lives of more than sixty people over the centuries. His companion on this atmospheric and potentially perilous journey is his old friend and photographer, David Quentin.In this special e-book edition, the Broomway section of The Old Ways appears alongside a run of twenty-two photographs taken that day by David, which form a haunting counterpoint to the text itself. In a newly written afterword, David reflects on the walk, on Robert Macfarlane's writing and on the fascinating legal terrain which paths like this one traverse even as they cross the land itself.Praise for The Old Ways:'Macfarlane has shown how utterly beautiful a brilliantly written travel book can still be. As perfect as his now classic The Wild Places. Maybe it is even better than that' William Dalrymple, Observer'A lovely book, a poetic investigation into what it is to follow a path, on land and at sea, in the footsteps of both our ancient predecessors and such writers as Edward Thomas: Macfarlane is reviving an entire body of nature writing here' David Sexton, Evening Standard'Beautifully written, moving, thrilling. It reminded me of how much stranger and richer the world is... at walking speed' Philip Pullman, Guardian 'A magnificent meditation on walking and writing. An astonishingly haunted book' Adam Nicolson, Daily Telegraph'The Old Ways sets the imagination tingling . . . it is like reading a prose Odyssey sprinkled with imagist poems' John Carey, Sunday TimesRobert Macfarlane is the author of the award-winning Mountains of the Mind; The Wild Places; The Old Ways, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction; and Landmarks, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.David Quentin is a barrister specialising in tax law. He also takes photographs, teaches Cambridge undergraduates about versification and plays the bass guitar in London-based krautgoth noisegaze outfit The Murder Act.
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.