The Wild Placesby Robert Macfarlane
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? That is the question that Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking journeys/b>
?An eloquent (and compulsively readable) reminder that, though we're laying waste the world, nature still holds sway over much of the earth's surface.?
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? That is the question that Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking journeys through some of the archipelago's most remarkable landscapes. He climbs, walks, and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods. With elegance and passion he entwines history, memory, and landscape in a bewitching evocation of wildness and its vital importance. A unique travelogue that will intrigue readers of natural history and adventure, The Wild Places solidifies Macfarlane's reputation as a young writer to watch.
In this eloquent travelogue, Macfarlane (Mountains of the Mind) explores the last undomesticated landscapes in Britain and Ireland in a narration that blends history, memoir and meditation. Macfarlane journeys to salt marshes, mountaintops, forests, beaches, constantly expanding and refining his understanding of wildness. Walking a Lake District ridge at night, he observes that "with the stars falling plainly far above, it seemed to me that our estrangement from the dark was a great and serious loss." Crossing a moor, he finds its vastness and "resistance to straight lines of progress" analogous to the inability of mere words to convey a landscape's variety and immensity. Nonetheless, Macfarlane's language is as surprising and precise as his environments, with such evocative phrases as "heat jellying the air," "ice lidded the puddles" and descriptions of birds that "gild" a tree and the sky as "a steady tall blue." His striking prose not only evokes each locale's physicality in sensuous, deliberate detail, it glows with a reverence for nature in general and takes the reader on both a geographical and a philosophical journey, as mind-expanding as any of his wild places. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- 7 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Robert Macfarlane is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. His first book, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit, won a number of prizes in England and was a New York Times Notable Book. He has contributed to numerous publications including The Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books.
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Macfarlane, a naturalist and Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge emerged me in a world I had no idea existed. This quote early on gives a good picture of what the book attempts to do, ¿¿ as I traveled¿ I would draw up a map to set against the road atlas. A prose map that would seek to make some of the remaining wild places of the archipelago visible again, or that would record them before they vanished for good.¿ Now this is a book that I would not normally read, but as I got into it, I found some amazing research and an unparalleled John Muir like enthusiasm for bucolicism 'if that¿s a word'. Macfarlane is the type of narrator that weaves prose descriptions of landscapes with his own imaginative journey through the wild and gives quite an unusual perspective on cartography. He also has some fun adventures. For instance, when you¿re reading in your head you¿re saying, 'wow that river must be freezing, you know the one with ice floating on it?' And the next sentence Macfarlane is stripping down naked and jumping into it. I became familiar with places in the UK that may present themselves in my upcoming summer travels and for that I am thankful. The touching story about his friend and fellow adventurer Roger was a great personal detail. I¿m also very impressed with the ending, because it was truly a beautiful scene, when Macfarlane returns to his office in ¿civilization¿ and reflects and arranges his ebenezers in full circle.