Countryside: A Photographic Tour of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Countryside: A Photographic Tour of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

by Joe Cornish
     
 

Over a hundred years ago, the National Trust was founded to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Today it protects more than 600,000 acres of land. The variety is unparalleled—from the fells and lakes of Cumbria to the wilderness wetlands of Wicken Fen in East Anglia. This collection of photographs

Overview

Over a hundred years ago, the National Trust was founded to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Today it protects more than 600,000 acres of land. The variety is unparalleled—from the fells and lakes of Cumbria to the wilderness wetlands of Wicken Fen in East Anglia. This collection of photographs reveals not only the natural beauty, but how the human hand has shaped the landscape over the centuries.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
England's Countryside in Pictures If you've traveled in England and ventured any distance at all from Leicester Square, you know the name of the National Trust. The National Trust preserves and protects an immense collection of natural and historic treasures, including 673,000 areas of countryside, 570 miles of coastline, 263 historic houses, and 233 gardens and parks in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Founded more than a century ago, it is today the foremost conservation charity in all of Europe. They do books too. The latest is The Countryside of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and they've done it right. Its 114 color photographs are the work of Joe Cornish, David Norton, and Paul Wakefield, three of Britain's finest landscape photographers. Wakefield, in fact, has collaborated with Jan Morris (the highest recommendation, in my mind) on landscape books covering Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. And to write the introduction, they engaged Richard Mabey, a journalist with a long interest in questions of environment and preservation and author of Food for Free and Flora Britannica, the definitive guide to British wildflowers, plants, and trees. What Mabey calls the "compressed variety" of this landscape is enormously varied: forest pathways and green coastlines, misty lakes and sheep-dotted hills, ancient trees and footpaths and stone walls. But you might see photos of those in a tourist brochure. The pictures here are on an entirely different level of artistry. Here's what Richard Mabey says about some of them: "This collection beginsinWordsworth's Cumbria, where the National Trust acquired some of its first countryside properties. These are archetypal pictures of an ancient human presence in a turbulent landscape. Mist rises over Blean Tarn. The ice at the edge of Dernwentwater forms cobweb patterns like contour lines. And in David Norton's wide and airy panorama of Loughrigg Tar you are in the water-lilies, up to your knees, with the faintest breeze blurring the tops of the sedges." It's impossible to select favorite pictures from such incredible variety of scene and mood, but if I really had to, I'd confess some partiality for the images of forest and coastline. There's a panoramic picture, across the width of two wide pages, showing three pollard hornbeams, ancient trees in an ancient woodland, Hatfield Forest, the last remnant of the medieval Forest of Essex, which was the hunting preserve of the Norman Kings. Elsewhere, on facing pages, are a picture of Pentire Head, a cliff headland on a peninsula where humps in the turf are all that remain from an Iron Age fortification, and the cliffs and narrow cleft of Chapel Porth on the Cornish coast, the landscape described by Daphne Du Maurier in Vanishing Cornwall. It won't vanish much more so long as pictures — and books — like this remain. The Countryside is filled with beautiful and evocative photographs, the sort of pictures you can stare at and study and drift right into, becoming part of the scene. I've walked a bit in England and Wales — a good bit, actually, but never enough — and these images have the very look and feel of the place. —Alan Ryan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780707802442
Publisher:
National Trust, Aylesbury
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.80(d)

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