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Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies

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9780500292655: Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies
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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: 'Bloody cold', says Jonathan Swift in the 'slobbery' January of 1713; Percy Shelley wants to become a cloud and John Ruskin wants to bottle one... 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.

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Review:

Hugely ambitious, exhilaratingly written and handsomely produced. -- Peter Parker, TLS - Books of the Year

The British people love talking about the weather. This book should be their bible. Harris' paean to the power and elusiveness of the climate is as sparkling and refreshing as an April shower ... Every page is a delight and beautifully illustrated throughout. -- Times Higher Education

Gathers all the written English centuries and sets them dancing to the seasons on the head of its pin. -- Ali Smith, TLS - Books of the Year

A fascinating portrait of that most British of preoccupations. --Independent Books of the Year

Harris's brilliantly eclectic Weatherland has made the colours of autumnal Britain even richer than usual. --Observer - Books of the Year

Wonderful ... delivers a deluge of detail that will change the way you think about weather forever. --The Sunday Times - Books of the Year

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, The Guardian

Enchanting ... Beautifully illustrated and consistently fascinating, this is a book for all seasons, and one to return to year after year. --The Lady

Brilliant ... Although Weatherland is a challenging read, it is also absorbing and fascinating, while promising to broaden your horizons. --Sunday Express

Harris is an inspiring guide: genial and gossipy, scholarly and wry. Her Weatherland should be as essential a part of any walker's kit as a balaclava, sun hat and pac-a-mac. --Daily Mail

What holds the material together is Harris's fluent and unfaltering prose; she could be read for style alone. --Spectator

Wonderfully illustrated ... Harris treats her Jovean subject discursively, intelligently and with flair. Weatherland is an uplifting book, like a first spring breeze. --Observer

A brilliant, beautiful and sensual book (and it is a lovely object, with its rich paper and fine illustrations). --The Sunday Times

Harris offers literary scholarship at its life-enhancing best. --Independent

Harris ... is an excellent compiler of anecdote and evidence, and her range ... is impressive. --Financial Times

I cannot love Weatherland enough. Exquisitely illustrated, it has the wit and wonder of an exceptional literary work. --New Statesman

Harris brilliantly shows how the weather has seeped into our art like damp, winter fog. --RA Magazine

Rich, erudite and impressive. --Daily Telegraph

A gorgeous piece of writing. --Nature

Weatherland is 'lovely, lyrical' and '[Harris] warns that the "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

'Highly original and beautifully crafted ... wonderful.'--Sunday Times

'Impressive' --The Times

'A superb book, a cultural and historical guide that delves into incredible depth whilst remaining a read that one can pick up at any time, with fascinating facts on every single page.'--The Bookbag

'It isn't really possible to summarise this book because its glory is in the detail, in its recording of facts and lives, atmospheres and words, quirks of feeling and behaviour. It tells you things you didn't know, and are delighted to know.'--AS Byatt, The Guardian

'Harris writes beautifully about how the wind, sun and rain influence our creativity.' --Outdoor Photography

Weatherland is so beautifully written that it transcends even its wealth of information. She is a poet scholar. -- New --The Lady

'Thick with fascinating information' -- House & Garden

'A breathtaking feat of knowledge and clear thinking' --Rachel Cooke, the Guardian

The examples Harris supplies in this well-researched and lucid book are pleasingly idiosyncratic ... A beautiful and wild place, governed only by the fleeting truths of individual experience. --Prospect

About the Author:

Alexandra Harris is a cultural historian and writer. She is the recipient of the Guardian First Book Award and a Somerset Maugham Award for Romantic Moderns. She is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in Oxford and Liverpool.

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9780500518113: Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies

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ISBN 10: 0500518114 ISBN 13: 9780500518113
Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2015
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