Old ways and new paths

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by nature-writer Robert MacFarlane is just amazing: it is a quiet book, that captivates you before you realise how invested and interested you have become. After you have finished, you look at the various foot-travels you make with fresh eye, and value them differently.
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, Macfarlane writes about 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. It seems haphazard and entirely accidental that he notices what he does – it just depends on when he chose to go for that particular walk.
He meets fascinating and unusual people and sees many remarkable and everyday things. His writing is lyrical, simple and elegant – I picked the book up by accident, opened it and read a couple of pages and just had to read more – now I will be tracking down his other works. It is so exciting when you find an author like that…

 

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