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Landmarks is Robert Macfarlane's joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two.

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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 27mm | 310g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0241967872
  • 9780241967874
  • 7,494

Review Text

Praise from America and England for Landmarks

"Landmarks is wildly ambitious, part outdoor adventure story, part literary criticism, part philosophical disquisition, part linquistic excavation project, part mash note. . . It's an argument for sitting down with a book; it's also an argument for going outside and paying attention."
- The New York Times

"[A] magnificent meditation on the words we have for describing the natural world. . . [Macfarlane] is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation."
- Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal

"Simply one of the best nature history books I have read in years, Landmarks is a stunning paean to the beauty of language, the craft of writing and the power of nature. It is truly a book that will force you to rethink your relationship to the world around you."
- The Seattle Times

"[A] fascinating, poetic compilation of vocabulary invented to describe the natural world. . .Lucent, lyrical prose evokes Macfarlane's aesthetic, ethical, and powerfully tactile response to nature's enchantments."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Macfarlane's beautifully written blend of nature writing and lexicon connects the work of his favorite writers to the British Isles' natural settings and the distinctive, lyrical vocabulary used to describe them. . .[An] exceptional compilation."
- Publishers Weekly

"This joyous meditation on land and language is a love letter to the British Isles."
- Observer

"Lyrical, charged with a monumental strength. Surely no one since the young Ted Hughes has written about British landscape and wildlife with such fierce enthusiasm. Few writers today have such power to make you look afresh at the familiar . . . making a British countryside come alive as the most exotic place on earth."
- Daily Express

"Astonishing and revelatory. Please read Landmarks, encounter its wonderful words, let them open your mind . . . start looking at the world in the dazzlingly receptive way they have taught you."
- Adam Nicolson, Spectator

"As teeming and complex as an ecosystem, rawly moving, enormously pleasurable, historically important and imaginatively compelling, elegant and scholarly."
- Melissa Harrison, Financial Times

"Passionate and magical...A deep scholarship of the countryside with an adventurous approach, all rendered in immaculate, delicious prose. Macfarlane offers an enriched nature. A kind of manual of how people in love with place and language are created by landscape."
- Horatio Clare, Daily Telegraph

"So important, enriching. Ought to be read by policymakers, educators, armchair environmentalists and active conservationists the world over."
- John Burnside, Guardian
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Review quote

Publisher's description. The number one bestselling book from the author of The Old Ways. This is a celebration of the unique relationship between language and place; a field guide to nature writers from Roger Deakin to Nan Shepherd; and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable, poetic, funny, peculiar and endangered words to describe the natural world. * Penguin * Thoughtful and lyrical writing . . . It's gorgeous -- Katy Guest * Independent on Sunday * Enormously pleasurable, deeply moving . . . Landmarks is both 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 * His writing has a confidence and enjoyment, a passionate purpose . . . he celebrates our vast, but evaporating, vocabulary for the landscape * Daily Telegraph * A story like this is salutary...Landmarks is a book that ought to be read by policymakers, educators, armchair environmentalists and active conservationists the world over. * Guardian * The writing is full of clarity and internal reflections and the chapters ripple over into each other like a linked chain of mountain pools.... What is remarkable about these words is how precise they are, and how deeply local. They feel as if they somehow grew out of the land itself. A delight. * Sunday Times Magazine * The mood is one of celebration... [Landmarks is] the product of an active academic intelligence and emotional generosity, irradiated by a profound sense of wonder... Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly * Independent *
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About Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Landmarks, and The Lost Words, co-created with Jackie Morris. Mountains of the Mind won the Guardian First Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and The Wild Places won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Both books have been adapted for television by the BBC. The Lost Words won the Books Are My Bag Beautiful Book Award and the Hay Festival Book of the Year. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and writes on environmentalism, literature and travel for publications including the Guardian, the Sunday Times and The New York Times.
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Rating details

1,293 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 47% (610)
4 36% (460)
3 14% (176)
2 2% (30)
1 1% (17)
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