320 pages, 18 B&W chapter opening illustrations
Landskipping is a meditation on the iridescent British landscape that will reshape the way we think about our country
In the late eighteenth century, landscape began to emerge as a cultural phenomenon in Britain. Tourist, theoretician and artist alike all sought to capture the beauty and inspiration of waterfall, lake and fell.
In a spirit as Romantic as rational, Anna Pavord explores the emotional and artistic resonances of nature, and the sculpting of its lines by man and economic endeavour. An exquisite foray across mountains and rivers, valleys and pastures, Landskipping is a celebration of landscape, the stunning diversity of our scenery and its potential to comfort, awe and mesmerise.
"A personal meditation on the nature of our British countryside that expands progressively to encompass a far broader view"
– Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times
"[A] winning study of English landscape"
– Lucy Scholes, BBC Countryfile
"Anyone who loves the variety and idiosyncrasies of the British countryside will relish this poignant celebration"
"Rangey, deeply felt and sometimes luminous [...] Like the raking light that exposes ancient lynchets at sunset, such knowledge brings out new detail in the one particular view over a gate which Pavord has loved in all seasons, and which she now evokes for us as it changes through a full year. From the vantage point of this ending, I look back and find that the mixed landscape of the whole book is cast in a very beautiful light"
– Alexandra Harris, Guardian
"An insight into landscape's cultural impact to highlight the ability of wide open spaces to inspire and provide"
– Sunday Times
"Pavord is a great excavator of roots [...] Pavord threads together a patchwork of history, nature writing, polemic and memoir. Always she remains attuned to the sensual character of the environment [...] I was suitably entranced by its many splendid views and perspectives"
– Sunday Telegraph
"The whole book reads like a conversation at some fantasy dinner party where all the guests are impeccably informed, fervently opinionated, gently witty and incurably passionate about the countryside. It darts from topic to topic, century to century, painter to ploughman, mountain to meadow, like some mercurially active salmon making its way up the Dart or the Dee. Yet miraculously – or, more likely, thanks to Pavord's beautifully descriptive but never indulgent prose – it all hangs together. You can read the whole book in less time than it takes to go up and down Ben Nevis, and feel that you have bagged not just the king of Munros but the rural delights of an entire kingdom [...] Landskipping, however, is not some environmental rant. Pavord still sees plenty to celebrate about the British landscape, and plenty to send a delicious shiver up the spine as well"
– The Times
"Intensely enjoyable book [...] Anna Pavord is a beautiful writer who feels her subject deeply and with a lifetime's enjoyment and understanding"
– Lucy Lethbridge, Observer
"A lyrical defence of our landscape, its language, and its freedom from meddling by various agencies [...] a real pleasure"
– Mail on Sunday
"A grand tour around the British Isles [...] Anna Pavord proves, someone who has lived in the same place for 40 years can also bring fresh eyes"
"An inspiring overview"
– Sunday Express
"Pavord writes thoughtfully, with deep and wide-ranging knowledge, of the land and what grows on it, of art, literature and the history of taste. And she writes from the heart – the heart of a countrywoman as well as the country-lover [...] The fruit of genuine observation, described with straining for effect, it's a wonderful piece of writing – one of many in this superb, heartfelt and illuminating book"
– Literary Review
"Intriguing [...] Scholarly, yet written with brio, her book should be read by all those who love our unique countryside"
– Catholic Morning Herald
"A glorious and comprehensive celebration of all that is best in the British landscape [...] there is much beauty in what remains of the British landscape. How lucky we are to have a scholar of Anna Pavord's stature to chronicle it"
– Richard Shelton, Literary Review
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Anna Pavord's books include the bestselling The Tulip, The Naming of Names, and her most recent work, The Curious Gardener. Her column in the Independent has appeared since the newspaper's launch. She writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and served for 10 years on the Gardens Panel of the National Trust, the last five as Chairman.