432 pages, 59 illustrations
Writers and artists across the centuries, from Chaucer to Ian McEwan, and from the creator of the Luttrell Psalter in the 14th century to John Piper in the 20th, looking up at the same skies and walking in the same brisk air, have felt very different things and woven them into their novels, poems and paintings. Alexandra Harris's subject is not the weather itself, but the weather as it is daily recreated in the human imagination. She builds her remarkable story from small evocative details and catches the distinct voices of compelling individuals:
Weatherland is both a sweeping panorama of cultural climates on the move and a richly illustrated, intimate account – for although weather is vast, it is experienced physically, emotionally and spiritually; as Harris cleverly reveals, it is at the very heart of English life and culture.
"Weatherland is so beautifully written that it transcends even its wealth of information. Alexandra Harris is a poet scholar"
– Clive James, New Statesman
"A fascinating portrait of that most British of preoccupations"
"A dazzling journey through the weather-worlds of English culture and history"
– Robert Macfarlane
"A brilliant, beautiful and sensual book"
– Sunday Times
"Gathers all the written English centuries and sets them dancing to the seasons on the head of its pin"
– Ali Smith, Times Literary Supplement
"Splendid [...] its glory is in the detail, in its recording of facts and lives, atmospheres and words, quirks of feeling and behaviour"
– A. S. Byatt, Guardian
"[...] "years to come may be the last of English weather". If so, there is consolation in the thought that the damp glory of our island climate will live on in the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Constable and Turner"
– Daily Mail
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Alexandra Harris is currently Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool. She is the author of Romantic Moderns and Virginia Woolf, both published by Thames & Hudson.