From Robert Macfarlane, the acclaimed author of The Old Ways--a celebration of the language of landscape and the power of words to shape our sense of place For years now, the British writer Robert Macfarlane has been collecting place-words: terms for aspects of landscape, nature, and weather, drawn from dozens of languages and dialects of the British Isles. In this, his fifth book, Macfarlane brilliantly explores the linguistic and literary terrain of the British archipelago, from the Shetlands to Cornwall and from Cumbria to Suffolk, offering themed glossaries of hundreds of these rare, deeply local, poetical terms, organized by such geographical terrains as flatlands, uplands, waterlands, coastlands, woodlands, and underlands. Interspersed with this archive of place words are biographical essays in which Macfarlane writes of his favorite authors who have paid close attention to the natural world and who embody in their own work the huge richness of place language--from Barry Lopez and John Muir to Nan Shepard, J. A. Baker, and Roger Deakin. Landmarks is a book about the power of language and how it can become a way to know and love landscape, from a writer acclaimed for his own precision of utterance and distinctive, lyrical voice.
Shortlisted for Wainwright Prize 2016.
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
Robert Macfarlane was born in Nottinghamshire in 1976. He is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks. 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. 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. He is currently working on an illustrated children's book about the natural world in collaboration with illustrator Jackie Morris.