Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place

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9781847086303: Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place
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When Philip Marsden moved to a remote, creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to wonder why we react so strongly to certain places and set him off on a journey on foot westwards to Land's End through one of the most myth-rich regions of Europe. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions at Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay region to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of Britain's attitude to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other enthusiasts before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his travels from further afield, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our own history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.

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Review:

'Fascinating and hauntingly evocative... Philip Marsden has written a truly wonderful and enjoyable book' --Jan Morris, Literary Review

'Equally entertaining and enlightening... Marsden's references are glittering. This is a timely volume, describing in beautiful prose the opulence of our natural and human fabric. Guaranteed to fill the windows of Cornish bookshops, it is a superb and educative work which should be read everywhere' --Horatio Clare, Independent

'With an astonishingly keen eye for detail and a beguiling gift for the description of landscape... This is an extraordinary, complex and fascinating book. It is not just about Cornwall; it is also about the human endeavour to make meaning of life' --Justin Cartwright, Spectator

'Marsden is a born writer. Elegance seems as natural to his prose as the breeze from the west to his adopted homeland. He wears his learning lightly, and his curiosity is boundless' --Sunday Telegraph

'It is Marsden's close attention to the immediacy of his experience - the shape of the particular hill, the sound of the curlew's cry in the early hours, the feel of heather crunching beneath his feet - that keeps him, and us, interested in this journey' --Financial Times

'His writing weaves cultural and natural history in a book which is both memoir and travelogue. Every rock, hill and cliff holds a tale or a legend and Rising Ground shows that such landscapes are not just close to our hearts but are a crucial part of our culture too' --Geographical Magazine

'Marsden has a gift, not only for language and metaphor, but also for imagining places as they have felt to others. Marsden recreates their works - and in the process, finds a Cornwall of his own' --Economist

'Marsden's often solo walk is described in such evocative detail readers can envisage the rough Cornish landscape without previous knowledge of it. His probing yet conversational writing style includes an excellent command of simile. Both informative and entertaining' --Irish Examiner

'His writing is just so good. Short, pacey chapters and an intimate and aphoristic style complement his powerful evocation of different terrains' --Guardian

'Pitch-perfect prose' --'Book of the year' in the Scotsman

'Marsden writes with charm and passion... Its conclusions come in vivid epiphanies scattered throughout the text. Rising Ground... wears its philosophy lightly and informs as it entertains. It is beautifully written, and a labour of love' --Times Literary Supplement

'The beauty of Marsden's book is that, although it is thoroughly researched and rigorously argued, it comes across as the result of experience, the close frequenting of that characterful region....The extraordinary richness of daily perceptions and antiquarian knowledge assembled in Rising Ground never feels like a tray of specimens laid out for inspection' -- London Review of Books

'The most incredible book' -- Clare Balding, BBC Radio Ramblings

'Antiquarian Philip Marsden's elegant quest takes him from Bodmin Moor's Neolithics to whit mud clay pits in search of the historical spirit of Cornwall' --Paperback review, Daily Telegraph

'For a travel writer, home is the hardest of all subjects, but it has inspired Marsden to write one of his best books yet' --Paperback review, Sunday Times

'For a travel writer, home is the hardest of all subjects, but it has inspired Marsden to write one of his best books yet' -- Paperback review, Sunday Times
'This beautifully written book about Cornwall weaves together history, mystery, myth and memory.' --Author Kate Morton, Sunday Telegraph

About the Author:

PHILIP MARSDEN is a writer and journalist. He is the author of several works of travel writing and non-fiction, including most recently The Levelling Sea and The Barefoot Emperor, and a novel, The Main Cages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Cornwall with his wife and children.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780226366098: Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place

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ISBN 10:  022636609X ISBN 13:  9780226366098
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 2016
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9781847086280: Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place

Granta, 2014
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