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
- Paperback | 448 pages
- 129 x 198 x 27mm | 310g
- 01 Oct 2016
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
Other books in this series
28 May 2020
"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.
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.
This joyous meditation on land and language is a love letter to the British Isles.
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
About Robert Macfarlane