Why do we react so strongly to certain places? Why do layers of mythology build up around particular features in the landscape? When Philip Marsden moved to a remote creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to begin exploring these questions, prompting a journey westwards to Land's End through one of the most fascinating regions of Europe. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions of Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay country to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of our shifting attitudes to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other 'topophiles' before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his own travels overseas, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.
When award-winning travel writer Philip Marsden moved to a remote Cornish farmhouse he found himself profoundly impressed by the landscape and determined to explore both the region and his fellow countrymen’s enduring fascination with such rugged and bleak locations. More scholarly and less esoteric than Julian Cope’s The Modern Antiquarian, Marsden’s study offers his own perceptive observations bolstered by the insights of those who preceded him – medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, 18th-century antiquarians, Edwardian naturalists, artists and post-industrial poets. Part travelogue, part cultural history, it takes the reader to some of the most ruggedly beautiful locations in the British Isles from Bodmin Moor, Tintagel and Glastonbury, to the Isles of Scilly, in search of what the author calls ‘the spirit of place’, and for an answer as to why we are drawn to such places that give birth to fable, myth and legend.
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Publisher: Granta Books
|Publication date:||2nd October 2014|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Travel,|
Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, and The Levelling Sea. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Cornwall.More About Philip Marsden