England on Fire

by Stephen Ellcock

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LoveReading Expert Review of England on Fire

Fascinating, vibrant, and overwhelmingly powerful, this is a unique look at England in its magical and rebellious glory.

A stunningly provocative and thought-provoking book viewing England from a different perspective, one where: “magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or four”.

Stephen Ellcock’s books are particular favourites of mine, I regularly dip into All Good Things, and The Book of Change. Here he has joined forces with Mat Osman, whose short texts sit as an introduction to each chapter where the images chosen are allowed to sing. I love Mat’s introduction! He perfectly describes Stephen’s talent for choosing images and picking up on the thoughts and feelings of the moment. He also brings England to life: “Like a teenager sulking in their room, England is in one of its periodic spasms of insularity - but no matter, we’ve been here before”. Look deeper, explore roots that are bound to the ancient and to wilderness, join protests and anti-fascist marches, adore our absurdity while remaining aware of our capacity for division  and discord. While our dark times are explored, hope springs in the form of a new breed of artists, the images chosen here matter, they speak of and to our deepest emotions. This book has helped me to feel connected again with the country in which I live, my eyes opened in a new awareness. A LoveReading Star book, England on Fire is truly beautiful, it’s astute, inclusive, and absolutely magical.

Liz Robinson

England on Fire Synopsis

This is a book about English art like no other.

Forget the tired rogues' gallery of lords and ladies, forget the tall ships and haywains. These images cut to the heart of England's psychic landscapes to portray an Albion unhinged, where magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or for four.

Here you will find depictions of ancient trackways, chalk carvings and standing stones, of animal-masked community rituals, of streets set ablaze in protest, of occult dreams and psychedelic prophecies. There are over 200 images by artists ranging from William Blake, J.M.W. Turner and Samuel Palmer to Paul Nash, Louis Wain, Bill Brandt, Derek Jarman and Ithell Colquhoun to present-day visionaries such as Paula Rego, Cathy de Monchaux, George Shaw, Jamie Reid, Matt Collishaw, Tacita Dean, Lina Iris Viktor, Yinka Shonibare, Nick Waplington, Dan Hillier, Nicola Tyson, Sutapa Biswas and Chila Kumari Burman.

The mind-blowing selection of images is accompanied by short texts by Mat Osman, exploring magic and mazes, ghosts and gardens, shipwrecks and cities. These poetic renderings of a spectral isle, together with Stephen Ellcock's hallucinatory visual journey, reclaim Albion as an eternally inspiring and anarchic domain - an England on fire.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781786784285
Publication date: 10th May 2022
Author: Stephen Ellcock
Publisher: Watkins Publishing an imprint of Watkins Media
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 256 pages
Primary Genre Gift books
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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781786784285
Publication date: 10/05/2022
Format: Hardback

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About Stephen Ellcock

Stephen Ellcock is a curator who has expanded his Facebook page into an online museum of images, visual delights, oddities and wonders drawn from every conceivable culture, era and corner of the globe. With over 200K followers tuning in for his selections and views, he brings the art gallery directly to the people.

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