- 21,99 €
In 2010, Philip Marsden, whom Giles Foden has called “one of our most thoughtful travel writers,” moved with his family to a rundown farmhouse in the countryside in Cornwall. From the moment he arrived, Marsden found himself fascinated by the landscape around him, and, in particular, by the traces of human history—and of the human relationship to the land—that could be seen all around him. Wanting to experience the idea more fully, he set out to walk across Cornwall, to the evocatively named Land’s End.
Rising Ground is a record of that journey, but it is also so much more: a beautifully written meditation on place, nature, and human life that encompasses history, archaeology, geography, and the love of place that suffuses us when we finally find home. Firmly in a storied tradition of English nature writing that stretches from Gilbert White to Helen MacDonald, Rising Ground reveals the ways that places and peoples have interacted over time, from standing stones to footpaths, ancient habitations to modern highways. What does it mean to truly live in a place, and what does it take to understand, and honor, those who lived and died there long before we arrived?
Like the best travel and nature writing, Rising Ground is written with the pace of a contemplative walk, and is rich with insight and a powerful sense of the long skein of years that links us to our ancestors. Marsden’s close, loving look at the small patch of earth around him is sure to help you see your own place—and your own home—anew.
Travel writer Marsden (The Levelling Sea) whose previous works chronicled trips to Russia, Armenia, and Ethiopia, returns home to walk the length of the Cornwall region, a peninsula located in the southwest corner of Great Britain. Marsden employs an array of disciplines and devices to capture both the ruggedness and beauty of the landscape and more challengingly, to successfully convey a sense of the land's ephemeral "spirit," imbued in the moors and hills by its unique geography and history. Walking east to west, metaphorically through time, and concluding at the aptly named Land's End, Marsden explores and offers commentary on the mysterious manmade arrangements of stones dotting the landscape, dating from the Neolithic era; places where Arthurian legends hover over the land; regions where talk of druids still endures; and the environmental degradation left by the industrial extraction of clay from the land. Alongside Marsden's ruminations on landscape, there is a smaller parallel narrative that describes making repairs to his recently purchased ramshackle Cornish home and acts as a subtle addition to the philosophical speculations on the power of place. Marsden is erudite and brings his knowledge of geology, etymology, history, and philosophy, as well as the voices of Cornwall's past and current inhabitants, to his long peregrination. The writing is seamless and occasionally stretches to the elegant.