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By: Madeleine Bunting
304 pages, B/w illus
Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting is one of the most high-profile left-wing commentators in Britain. But her father was deeply conservative, with romantic, old-fashioned views about England. A complex man, he was a Catholic, a sculptor, and a difficult, combative parent. After his death, wanting to understand him better, Bunting began to explore his passionate, lifelong attachment to a small plot of land in North Yorkshire, on which he built a war memorial chapel as a young man. Delving deep into the rich history of this acre, she uncovers traces of its Neolithic inhabitants and of the Cistercian monks; she learns of the medieval battles and considers the changing face of agriculture and leisure. The result is an extraordinary, brave journey, leading to a rich portrait of this particular acre of England. It sheds a fascinating light on what a contested, layered place England is, and on what belonging to a place might mean to all of us. 'The Plot' is an original, heartfelt, and deeply political book.
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