Whenever I travel somewhere else, in upland Britain, I find the hills and the horizon are leaning towards me, as if trying to cover me over; to blinker my gaze and stifle my imagination. It's always a huge relief to get back to the infinite vistas of the Fens.
The Fens is Britain's most distinctive, complex, man-made and least understood landscape. Francis Pryor has lived in, excavated, farmed, walked and loved the Fen Country for more than 40 years: its levels and drains, its soaring churches and magnificent medieval buildings.
In The Fens, he counterpoints the history of the Fenland landscape and its transformation—the great drainage projects that created the Old and New Bedford Rivers, the Ouse Washes and Bedford Levels, the rise of prosperous towns and cities, such as King's Lynn, Cambridge, Peterborough, Boston and Lincoln—with the story of his own discovery of it as an archaeologist.