Tag Archives: Britain

The Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream

The Fish LadderThe Fish Ladder: A Journey Upstream by Katharine Norbury

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Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by a loving adoptive family, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the landscape of the British countryside.

One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine sets out–accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter, Evie–with the idea of following a river from the sea to its source. The luminously observed landscape grounds the walkers, providing both a constant and a context to their expeditions. But what begins as a diversion from grief evolves into a journey to the source of life itself: a life threatening illness forces Katharine to seek a genetic medical history, and this new and unexpected path delivers her to the door of the woman who abandoned her all those years ago.

Combining travelogue, memoir, exquisite nature writing, and fragments of poems with tales from Celtic mythology, “The Fish Ladder” has a rare emotional resonance. It is a portrait of motherhood, of a literary marriage, a hymn to the adoptive family, but perhaps most of all it is an exploration of the extraordinary majesty of the natural world. Imbued with a keen and joyful intelligence, this original and life-affirming book is set to become a classic of its genre.

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Dip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands

DipDip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands by Andrew Fusek Peters

A lyrical account of a year’s wild swimming in Britain.
In “Dip,” Andrew Fusek Peters describes an extraordinary year of wild swimming. He leads us to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and hidden pools, into untamed landscapes that have the potential to surprise and move us in unexpected ways. Following in the wake of great writers such as Richard Jefferies and Edward Thomas, “Dip” combines meditations on place, history and myth with sharp observation and a poet’s eye.
As he takes the plunge and immerses himself in the elements, Andrew also begins to surface from a deep depression, making “Dip” at once a personal journey and about the many ways in which wild water and nature can restore us to ourselves.”

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Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain

Under Another SkyUnder Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain by Charlotte Higgins

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the captivating and haunting exploration of the remnants of an empire
What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse?
Sometimes on foot, sometimes in a magnificent, if not entirely reliable, VW camper van, Charlotte Higgins sets out to explore the ancient monuments of Roman Britain. She explores the land that was once Rome’s northernmost territory and how it has changed since the years after the empire fell. Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of theknown world, into existence.

“Beautifully crafted. The beauty of this book is not just in the elegant prose . . . It is in the sympathy that she shows for the myth-makers.” –Peter Stothard, “The Times”

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