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Spell Songs is a musical companion piece to The Lost Words: A Spell Book by author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. This mixed media CD is accompanied by sumptuous illustrations from Jackie Morris, new 'spells' by Robert Macfarlane, enlightening thoughts by Robert, Jackie and Spell Singer Karine Polwart and stunning photography by Elly Lucas. In 2018 Folk by the Oak Festival commissioned Spell Songs because of their love of The Lost Words book. Spell Songs comprises eight remarkable musicians whose music engages deeply with landscape and nature; musicians who are perfectly placed to respond to the creatures, art and language of The Lost Words. They spent a week in Herefordshire bringing this music together in the company of Jackie Morris. Art inspired music and music inspired art. Jackie Morris immersed herself in the musical residency where she generously created new iconesque artwork of each musician and their instruments portrayed in an unexpected and enchanting way. These stunning new artworks accompany the CD. Spell Songs allowed these acclaimed and diverse musicians to weave together elements of British folk music, Senegalese folk traditions, and experimental and classical music to create an inspiring new body of work. Here are 14 songs which capture the essence of The Lost Words book. Spoken voice, whispers, accents, dialects, native languages, proverbs, sayings, birdsong, river chatter and insect hum all increase the intimacy of the musical world conjured by the songs. Inspired by the words, art and ethos of The Lost Words book, each musician brings new imaginings, embellishments and diversions which are rooted in personal experience, a deep respect for the natural world, protest at the loss of nature and its language and an appreciation for wildness and beauty. In February 2019 Spell Songs enjoyed standing ovations at sell-out performances in major venues across the UK culminating at The Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London. Spell Songs was a highlight of The Hay International Literary Festival 2019 and in August 2019 they were invited to perform at the BBC's Lost Words Prom in the Royal Albert Hall. They will continue to tour each year. "There are songs here that would live with me for the rest of my years, even if I'd had no part in their making". Robert Macfarlane
With contributions by: William Boyd, Candice Carty-Williams, Imtiaz Dharker, Roddy Doyle, Pico Iyer, Robert Macfarlane, Andy Miller, Jackie Morris, Jan Morris, Sisonke Msimang, Dina Nayeri, Chigozie Obioma, Michael Ondaatje, David Pilling, Max Porter, Philip Pullman, Alice Pung, Jancis Robinson, S.F.Said, Madeleine Thien, Salley Vickers, John Wood and Markus Zusak 'This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book...' So begins the essay by Robert Macfarlane that inspired this collection. In this cornucopia of an anthology, you will find essays by some of the world's most beloved novelists, nonfiction writers, essayists and poets. 'You will see books taking flight in flocks, migrating around the world, landing in people's hearts and changing them for a day or a year or a lifetime. 'You will see books sparking wonder or anger; throwing open windows into other languages, other cultures, other minds; causing people to fall in love or to fight for what is right. 'And more than anything, over and over again, you will see books and words being given, received and read - and in turn prompting further generosity.' Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of global literacy non-profit, Room to Read, The Gifts of Reading forms inspiring, unforgettable, irresistible proof of the power and necessity of books and reading. Inspired by Robert Macfarlane Curated by Jennie Orchard
Reissue of J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing, with an exclusive new afterword by Robert Macfarlane. J. A. Baker's extraordinary classic of British nature writing was first published in 1967. Greeted with acclaim, it went on to win the Duff Cooper Prize, the pre-eminent literary prize of the time. Luminaries such as Ted Hughes, Barry Lopez and Andrew Motion have cited it as one of the most important books in twentieth-century nature writing. Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles, The Peregrine is set on the flat marshes of the Essex coast, where J. A. Baker spent long winters looking and writing about the visitors from the uplands - peregrines that spend the winter hunting the huge flocks of pigeons and waders that share the desolate landscape with them. This new edition of the timeless classic, published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first publication, features an afterword by one of the book's greatest admirers, Robert Macfarlane.
WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
Once we thought monsters lived there. In the Enlightenment we scaled them to commune with the sublime. Soon, we were racing to conquer their summits in the name of national pride. In this ground-breaking, classic work, Robert Macfarlane takes us up into the mountains: to experience their shattering beauty, the fear and risk of adventure, and to explore the strange impulses that have for centuries lead us to the world's highest places.
*Foreword by Robert Macfarlane, bestselling author of The Lost Words.* YOU have the power to change the world! 'Every young person in the country should be given this book' Sir Tim Smit, Founder of The Eden Project 'A really informative book [. . .] with lots of fun ways to take practical action' Mya-Rose Craig (Birdgirl), environmental and climate activist Climate breakdown, species extinction, environmental disasters - we know the planet is heating up and running out of time; but what can we do about it? Lots of things actually like: * Building a green wall * Making recycled bird feeders * Rewilding * Writing letters to politicians * Setting up a swapshop * Organising cycling groups at school * And so much more! This book will break down exactly what you need to do to make a difference. With easy step-by-step actions and inspiring stories of other children who stood up and said 'no more', this is the definitive guide to creating a better world wherever you live. 'It's enlightening, inspiring and empowering' Kate Humble, TV presenter 'Wonderfully informative, fun and practical [. . .] A great source of inspiration' The Rich Brothers, TV presenters
In Underland, Robert Macfarlane delivers an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself. Traveling through the dizzying expanse of geologic time-from prehistoric art in Norwegian sea caves, to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, to a deep-sunk "hiding place" where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come-Underland takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Global in its geography and written with great lyricism, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.
Winner of 'Best New Writer' - British Sports Publishing Awards. Winner of the 'Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition' - Lakeland Book Awards Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and for the Boardman-Tasker Prize. An inspiring insight into one of the oldest extreme sports, and a lyrical tribute to Britain's mountains and the men and women who live among them, this is the definitive story of fell-running. With an introduction from bestselling author Robert Macfarlane, this is a complete portrait of one of the few sports to have remained utterly true to its roots - in which the point is not fame or fortune but to run the ancient, wild landscape, and to be a hero, if at all, within one's own valley. Richard Askwith's journey takes him into a world of forbidding rockscapes, horizontal rain, fear, exhaustion and stunning natural beauty, as well as his own attempt at one of the purest and toughest challenges imaginable: the Bob Graham Round, the sport's traditional test of 42 Lake District peaks in 24 hours. Along the way, he encounters some of the most prodigious - and unsung - athletes Britain has produced, such as Joss Naylor, who covered the equivalent of four Everests in a single run. Gripping, funny and moving, this is a story that any aspiring runner, endurance athlete or mountain-lover will understand well: of extremity, heroism and the experience of a lifetime.
Lavishly illustrated with full-color geological maps, tables of strata, geological cross-sections, photographs, and fossil illustrations from the archives of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Geological Society, the London Natural History Museum, and others, Strata provides the first complete presentation of the revolutionary work of nineteenth-century geologist William Smith, the so-called father of English geology. It illustrates the story of his career, from apprentice to surveyor for hire and fossil collector, from his 1799 geological map of Bath and table of strata to his groundbreaking 1815 geological strata map, and from his imprisonment for debt to his detailed stratigraphical county maps. This sumptuous volume begins with an introduction by Douglas Palmer that places Smith's work in the context of earlier, concurrent, and subsequent ideas regarding the structure and natural processes of the earth, geographical mapping, and biostratigraphical theories. The book is then organized into four parts, each beginning with four sheets from Smith's hand-colored, 1815 strata map, accompanied by related geological cross-sections and county maps, and followed by fossil illustrations by Smith contemporary James Sowerby, all organized by strata. Essays between each section explore the aims of Smith's work and its application in the fields of mining, agriculture, cartography and hydrology. Strata concludes with reflections on Smith's later years as an itinerant geologist and surveyor, plagiarism by a rival, receipt of the first Wollaston Medal in recognition of his achievements, and the influence of his geological mapping and biostratigraphical theories on the sciences-all of which culminated in the establishment of the modern geological timescale. Featuring a foreword by Robert Macfarlane, Strata is a glorious testament to the lasting geological and illustrative genius of William Smith, a collection as colossal and awe-inspiring as the layers of the Earth themselves.
A timeless, stunning gift to be pored over and cherished for years - dazzlingly beautiful and richly inventive, discover the magical new book from the creators of The Lost Words 'Luminously beautiful. An amulet in dark times, to be carried like a talisman out into the world, where it is very much needed' Dara McAnulty 'A book about spells that succeeds in being spell-binding in its own right . . . It already feels like a true classic. Buy one copy for yourself and any others for as many children as you can afford' Books for Keeps Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells is a pocket-sized treasure that introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Each "spell" conjures an animal, bird, tree or flower -- from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw -- with which we share our lives and landscapes. Moving, joyful and funny, The Lost Spells above all celebrates a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature's power to amaze, console and bring joy. Written to be read aloud, painted in brushstrokes that call to the forest, field, riverbank and also to the heart, The Lost Spells summons back what is often lost from sight and care, teaching the names of everyday species, and inspiring its readers to attention, love and care.
'My favourite book about the wilderness' Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild In this shimmering masterpiece of American nature writing, Edward Abbey ventures alone into the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, to work as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service. Living out of a trailer, Abbey captures in rapt, poetic prose the landscape of the desert; a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage. His summers become spirit quests, taking him in search of wild horses and Ancient Puebloan petroglyphs, up mountains and across tribal lands, and down the Glen Canyon by river. He experiences both sides of his new home; its incredible beauty and its promise of liberation, but also its isolating, cruel side, at one point discovering a dead tourist at an isolated area of the Grand Canyon. In his own irascible style, Abbey uses his time in the desert to meditate on the tension between nature and civilisation, and outlines a personal philosophy that would come to heavily influence the environmentalist movement. Now published in a special edition to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, this classic seems remarkably prescient, and has lost none of its power.
THE TIMES AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR 'The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain' Guardian In this masterpiece of nature writing, beautifully narrated by Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape. Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the 'essential nature' of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us. Composed during the Second World War, the manuscript of The Living Mountain lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.
Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults. The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert Macfarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.
This sumptuous and comprehensive evaluation showcases Smith's 1815 hand-coloured map, A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland, and illustrates the story of his career, from apprentice to fossil collector and from his 1799 geological map of Bath and table of strata to his detailed stratigraphical county maps. The introduction places Smith's work in the context of earlier, concurrent and subsequent ideas regarding the structure and natural processes of the earth. The book is then organized into four geographical sections, each beginning with four sheets from the 1815 strata map, accompanied by related geological cross sections and county maps (1819-24), and is followed by displays of Sowerby's fossil illustrations (1816-19) organized by strata. Interleaved between the sections are essays by leading academics that explore the aims of Smith's work, its application in the fields of mining, agriculture, cartography, fossil collecting and hydrology, and its influence on biostratigraphical theories and the science of geology. Concluding the volume are reflections on Smith's later work as an itinerant geologist and surveyor, plagiarism by his rival - President of the Geological Society, George Bellas Greenough - receipt of the first Wollaston Medal in 1831 in recognition of his achievements, and the influence of his geological mapping and biostratigraphical theories on the sciences, culminating in the establishment of the modern geological timescale.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE The original bestseller from the beloved author of UNDERLAND, LANDMARKS and THE LOST WORDS - Robert Macfarlane travels Britain's ancient paths and discovers the secrets of our beautiful, underappreciated landscape 'The Old Ways confirms Macfarlane's reputation as one of the most eloquent and observant of contemporary writers about nature' Scotland on Sunday Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world - a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations. 'Sublime... It sets the imagination tingling, laying an irresistible trail for readers to follow' Sunday Times 'Read this and it will be impossible to take an unremarkable walk again' Metro 'He has a rare physical intelligence and affords total immersion in place, elements and the passage of time: wonderful' Antony Gormley
The name John Muir has come to stand for the protection of wild land and wilderness in both America and Britain. Born in Dunbar in 1838, Muir is famed as a pioneer of conservation, and his passion, discipline and vision are still inspirational today. Combining acute observation with a sense of inner discovery, Muir's description of the summer he spent in what would become Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada mountains raises an awareness of nature to a spiritual dimension. His journal provides a unique weaving of natural history, lyrical prose and amusing anecdote, retaining a freshness, intensity and honesty which will amaze the modern reader.
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? Or have we tarmacked, farmed and built ourselves out of wildness?
In his vital, bewitching, inspiring classic, Robert Macfarlane sets out in search of the wildness that remains.
'The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain' Guardian Introduction by Robert Macfarlane. Afterword by Jeanette Winterson In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape. Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the 'essential nature' of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us. Composed during the Second World War, the manuscript of The Living Mountain lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.
The Collins Nature Library is a new series of classic British nature writing - reissues of long-lost seminal works. The titles have been chosen by one of Britain's best known and highly-acclaimed nature writers, Robert Macfarlane, who has also written new introductions that put these classics into a modern context. A Land is Jacquetta Hawkes' seminal work, and a classic piece of British Nature writing. It is the history of the shaping of Britain and its people from the first, lifeless, Pre-Cambrian rocks to the days of the ice-cream carton and the hydrogen bomb. First, as an archaeologist and geologist, Hawkes paints a picture of the creation of Britain from the very first forming of the earth's crust, through periods marked by lifeless worlds of rock, water and air, to the first emergence of life that senses its surroundings. The worms and trilobites mark the beginning of the story of life that evolves through the great reptiles, dinosaurs and finally humans. This is science writing at its very best. Engrossing stories, curious facts and powerful narrative combine under the umbrella of poetic writing and unadulterated passion for the subject. Widely lauded on its publication, this is an exposition of complex science in a way that is not just comprehensible, but also moving.
From the bestselling author of UNDERLAND, THE OLD WAYS and THE LOST WORDS - an essay on the joy of reading, for anyone who has ever loved a book Every book is a kind of gift to its reader, and the act of giving books is charged with a special emotional resonance. It is a meeting of three minds (the giver, the author, the recipient), an exchange of intellectual and psychological currency, that leaves each participant enriched. Here Robert Macfarlane recounts the story of a book he was given as a young man, and how he managed eventually to return the favour, though never repay the debt. From one of the most lyrical writers of our time comes a perfectly formed gem, a lyrical celebration of the transcendent power and humanity of the given book.
With an introduction by Robert Macfarlane Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize. I had attached myself to the birds. I couldn't move on until the birds moved on, and the birds couldn't move on without the spring. One winter, after an enforced period of recuperation, William Fiennes finds himself restless and yearning for adventure. He travels to Texas, where he begins a quest to trace the million-strong flocks of snow geese making their spring flight thousands of miles north to the Arctic tundra. On his epic journey he meets people from every walk of life, from ex-nuns to train fanatics, and their stories resound with the longing to arrive at the right place in the world. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize, The Snow Geese is a poignant and lyrical paean to the richness and wonder of the world around us. A unique blend of autobiography, travel and nature writing, this is a classic tale of belonging and the inescapable lure of home.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE CILIP KATE GREENAWAY MEDAL 2019 BRITISH BOOK AWARDS CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 The book that has taken root in schools across Britain, inspired creative thinkers, young and old, and restored the vanishing poetry of nature. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world; Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. A wild landscape of imagination and play is rapidly fading from our children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration - in art and word - of nearby nature and its wonders. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book evokes the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages. *** Discover The Lost Spells, the magical new book from the creators of a literary phenomenon. *** Praise for The Lost Words: 'The most beautiful and thought-provoking book I've read this year' Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Observer 'Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris have made a thing of astonishing beauty' Alex Preston, Observer 'My top book of the year' Susan Hill, Spectator 'Gorgeous to look at and to read. Give it to a child to bring back the magic of language - and its scope' Jeanette Winterson, Guardian
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