The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland

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9781328745651: The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland
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"An unforgettable tale." -- National Geographic

In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked some of the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he travels with his eighty-nine-year-old father--a comical, wily, courageous, and infuriating former British intelligence officer--along the border they call home.
On Stewart's four-hundred-mile walk across a magnificent natural landscape, he sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing projects, in hostels and farmhouses. With every fresh encounter--from an Afghanistan veteran based on Hadrian's Wall to a shepherd who still counts his flock in sixth-century words--Stewart uncovers more about the forgotten peoples and languages of a vanished country, now crushed between England and Scotland.
Stewart and his father are drawn into unsettling reflections on landscape, their parallel careers in the bygone British Empire and Iraq, and the past, present, and uncertain future of the United Kingdom. And as the end approaches, the elder Stewart's stubborn charm transforms this chronicle of nations into a fierce, exuberant encounter between a father and a son. This is a profound reflection on family, landscape, and history by a powerful and original writer.

"The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father." -- New York Times Book Review

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Review:

Fascinating Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian s Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue. BOOKLIST

An unforgettable tale. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart s] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author. KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"

As a writer, Stewart has a fine sense of the nature of the physical spaces he traverses, as well as the human stories (past and present) that play out in these landscapes. SIGNATURE

An unforgettable tale. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Fascinating Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian s Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue. BOOKLIST

There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart s] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author. KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"Stewart bubbles with geopolitical knowledge... [His] walk across the Middleland brings Cumbria brilliantly alive... this is travel writing at its best Perhaps more than anything else, more than the exploration of a landscape, or an attempt to define the prickly concept of empire, or to ask what it means to be Scottish, The Marches is a portrait of a man. Of an energetic, loving father; of a gentle man, yet feisty; of a man who loved to dance and to laugh and to sing, and whose son was the apple of his eye. THE GUARDIAN
"

"[Stewart] paints vivid portraits... [he]anchors his lively mix of history, travelogue, and reportage on local communities in a vibrant portrait of his father, who was both a tartan-wearing Scotsman and a thoroughly British soldier and diplomat. This is a subtle, clear-eyed, ardent case for the United Kingdom's future, one that recognizes cross-border divisions but deeply values ties that bind." PUBLISHER S WEEKLY

As a writer, Stewart has a fine sense of the nature of the physical spaces he traverses, as well as the human stories (past and present) that play out in these landscapes. SIGNATURE

An unforgettable tale. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Fascinating Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian s Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue. BOOKLIST

There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart s] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author. KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"Stewart bubbles with geopolitical knowledge... [His] walk across the Middleland brings Cumbria brilliantly alive... this is travel writing at its best Perhaps more than anything else, more than the exploration of a landscape, or an attempt to define the prickly concept of empire, or to ask what it means to be Scottish, The Marches is a portrait of a man. Of an energetic, loving father; of a gentle man, yet feisty; of a man who loved to dance and to laugh and to sing, and whose son was the apple of his eye. THE GUARDIAN"

Stewart demonstrates a deep historical understanding of the land and describes the flora and fauna that he encounters with the precision of a botanist Stewart is a careful and thoughtful observer CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

"[A] modernday Lawrence of Arabia the book is a sensitive exploration of what borders mean and don't mean... the book is held together by Mr. Stewart's writing, with his short chapters moving skillfully from history to personal encounter." Andrew Lownie, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Stewart reveals the force of myths and traditions and the endurance of ties that are woven into the fabric of the land itself. A meditation on deep history, the pull of national identity, and home, The Marches will be regarded as one of the best books of 2016. WAMC-FM, the Roundtable

Captivating Stewart writes movingly and honestly about his father, who was 50 when Rory was born but possessed a remarkable vigor and a keen interest in his son that readers will feel throughout the narrative. It s a fitting end to this powerful exploration of personal and national lineages and landscapes. BOOKPAGE

As a writer, Stewart has a fine sense of the nature of the physical spaces he traverses, as well as the human stories (past and present) that play out in these landscapes. SIGNATURE

An unforgettable tale. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

"[Stewart] paints vivid portraits... [he]anchors his lively mix of history, travelogue, and reportage on local communities in a vibrant portrait of his father, who was both a tartan-wearing Scotsman and a thoroughly British soldier and diplomat. This is a subtle, clear-eyed, ardent case for the United Kingdom's future, one that recognizes cross-border divisions but deeply values ties that bind." PUBLISHER S WEEKLY

Fascinating Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian s Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue. BOOKLIST

There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart s] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author. KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"Stewart bubbles with geopolitical knowledge... [His] walk across the Middleland brings Cumbria brilliantly alive... this is travel writing at its best Perhaps more than anything else, more than the exploration of a landscape, or an attempt to define the prickly concept of empire, or to ask what it means to be Scottish, The Marches is a portrait of a man. Of an energetic, loving father; of a gentle man, yet feisty; of a man who loved to dance and to laugh and to sing, and whose son was the apple of his eye. THE GUARDIAN(UK)"

Stewart proves to be a captivating tour guide He brings archaic languages and traditions vividly alive, wrestles with nationalism and nationhood and, in a poignant closing section, traces his father's war years and last days Beautiful, evocative and wise, The Marches highlights new truths about old countries and the unbreakable bond between a father and son. Malcolm Forbes, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father. NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Stewart demonstrates a deep historical understanding of the land and describes the flora and fauna that he encounters with the precision of a botanist Stewart is a careful and thoughtful observer CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

"[A] modernday Lawrence of Arabia a sensitive exploration of what borders mean and don't mean... the book is held together by Mr. Stewart's writing, with his short chapters moving skillfully from history to personal encounter." Andrew Lownie, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Stewart reveals the force of myths and traditions and the endurance of ties that are woven into the fabric of the land itself. A meditation on deep history, the pull of national identity, and home, The Marches will be regarded as one of the best books of 2016. WAMC-FM, the Roundtable

Captivating Stewart writes movingly and honestly about his father, who was 50 when Rory was born but possessed a remarkable vigor and a keen interest in his son that readers will feel throughout the narrative. It s a fitting end to this powerful exploration of personal and national lineages and landscapes. BOOKPAGE

As a writer, Stewart has a fine sense of the nature of the physical spaces he traverses, as well as the human stories (past and present) that play out in these landscapes. SIGNATURE

An unforgettable tale. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

"[Stewart] paints vivid portraits... [he]anchors his lively mix of history, travelogue, and reportage on local communities in a vibrant portrait of his father, who was both a tartan-wearing Scotsman and a thoroughly British soldier and diplomat. This is a subtle, clear-eyed, ardent case for the United Kingdom's future, one that recognizes cross-border divisions but deeply values ties that bind." PUBLISHER S WEEKLY

Fascinating Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian s Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue. BOOKLIST

There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart s] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author. KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"Stewart bubbles with geopolitical knowledge... [His] walk across the Middleland brings Cumbria brilliantly alive... this is travel writing at its best Perhaps more than anything else, more than the exploration of a landscape, or an attempt to define the prickly concept of empire, or to ask what it means to be Scottish, The Marches is a portrait of a man. Of an energetic, loving father; of a gentle man, yet feisty; of a man who loved to dance and to laugh and to sing, and whose son was the apple of his eye. THE GUARDIAN(UK)"

"Stewart proves to be a captivating tour guide... He brings archaic languages and traditions vividly alive, wrestles with nationalism and nationhood and, in a poignant closing section, traces his father's war years and last days... Beautiful, evocative and wise, The Marches highlights new truths about old countries and the unbreakable bond between a father and son."--Malcolm Forbes, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

"The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father."--NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"Stewart demonstrates a deep historical understanding of the land and describes the flora and fauna that he encounters with the precision of a botanist... Stewart is a careful and thoughtful observer..."--CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

"[A] modern day Lawrence of Arabia...a sensitive exploration of what borders mean and don't mean... the book is held together by Mr. Stewart's writing, with his short chapters moving skillfully from history to personal encounter."-- Andrew Lownie, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"Stewart reveals the force of myths and traditions and the endurance of ties that are woven into the fabric of the land itself. A meditation on deep history, the pull of national identity, and home, The Marches will be regarded as one of the best books of 2016."--WAMC-FM, "the Roundtable"

"Captivating... Stewart writes movingly and honestly about his father, who was 50 when Rory was born but possessed a remarkable vigor and a keen interest in his son that readers will feel throughout the narrative. It's a fitting end to this powerful exploration of personal and national lineages and landscapes."--BOOKPAGE

"As a writer, Stewart has a fine sense of the nature of the physical spaces he traverses, as well as the human stories (past and present) that play out in these landscapes." --SIGNATURE

"An unforgettable tale." --NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

"[Stewart] paints vivid portraits... [he] anchors his lively mix of history, travelogue, and reportage on local communities in a vibrant portrait of his father, who was both a tartan-wearing Scotsman and a thoroughly British soldier and diplomat. This is a subtle, clear-eyed, ardent case for the United Kingdom's future, one that recognizes cross-border divisions but deeply values ties that bind." --PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

"Fascinating...Stewart provides wonderful insights as he visits Roman fortifications, medieval castles, and Hadrian's Wall. This is an informative, thoughtful, and timely mix of history and travelogue." --BOOKLIST

"There are few authors whose books are automatic purchases, whatever the subject . . . [Stewart's] greatest talent is in getting people to speak to him and actually listening to what they say, a skill on full display in his previous books about Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . Throughout, Stewart makes it a joy to learn every tree, flower, and butterfly, to explore where Roman forts stood, and to understand the ancient histories of the region. Another winner from a consistently engaging author." --KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

"Stewart bubbles with geopolitical knowledge... [His] walk across the Middleland brings Cumbria brilliantly alive... this is travel writing at its best... Perhaps more than anything else, more than the exploration of a landscape, or an attempt to define the prickly concept of empire, or to ask what it means to be Scottish, The Marches is a portrait of a man. Of an energetic, loving father; of a gentle man, yet feisty; of a man who loved to dance and to laugh and to sing, and whose son was the apple of his eye."--THE GUARDIAN(UK)

About the Author:

RORY STEWART is the best-selling author of The Places In Between and The Prince of the Marshes. His books have won literary prizes in four countries and have been translated into nine languages. A member of Parliament, he currently serves as minister of state for international development.

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9780544108882: The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland

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