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'I travelled to Haverfordwest to get to the past. From Paddington Station a Great Western locomotive took me on a journey westwards from London further and further back into geological time, from the age of mammals to the age of trilobites...Under the River Severn and into Wales, I was back before the time of the dinosaurs, to a time when Wales steamed and sweated with the humid heat of moss-laden and boggy forests in coal-swamps, where dragonflies the size of hawks flitted in the mist; and then on back still further in time, so far back that life had not yet slithered or crawled upon the land from its aqueous nursery.'
So begins this enthralling exploration of time and place in which Richard Fortey peels away the top layer of the land to reveal the hidden landscape - the rocks which contain the story of distant events, which dictate not only the personality of the landscape, but the nature of the soil, the plants that grow in it and the regional characteristics of the buildings. We travel with him as our guide throughout the British Isles and as the rocks change so we learn to read the clues they contain: that Britain was once divided into two parts separated by an ocean, that Scottish malt whisky, Harris tweed, slate roofs and thatched cottages can be traced back to tumultuous events which took place many millions of years ago.
"The Hidden Landscape" has become a classic in popular geology since its first publication in 1993. This new edition is, fully updated and beautifully illustrated.
Richard Fortey studied Geology at Cambridge University and had a long career as a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Royal Society. He has published numerous books: The Hidden Landscape won the Natural World Book of the Year (1993), Life was short-listed for the Rhone-Poulenc Prize (1998) and Trilobite! was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize (2001). Fortey was elected President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year (2007).
A very well written book about geology and geological history The Times We have a new classic... this is popular science at its best; it's beautifully written, constantly witty and excellently illustrated. Financial Times