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Picture of Land Writings

Land Writings

Excursions in the Footprints of Edward Thomas

Author(s): James Riding
Contributors: James Riding;

Book Description

Whilst out walking one day in the shade at the age of thirty-six, with the First World War looming, Edward Thomas decided to become a poet. In the few years that followed, believing he belonged nowhere, he tramped across rolling chalk downland, stitching himself to the landscape. Gently slanting from the door of his stone cottage, the South Downs – a range of chalk hills that extend across the southeastern coastal counties of England from Hampshire in the west to Sussex in the east – became day by day the mainspring of his poetry. As a perennial poet and essayist of the South Downs, Edward Thomas remains an enduring presence a century later in the downland he trampled daily, treading and documenting a series of paths around the village of Steep, East Hampshire, where he lived until enlisting. Arranging itself around a number of journeys in pursuit of the early twentieth century poet and nature writer, this book provides a personal and moving tale of encountering literature in landscape, retreading Edward Thomas’s footprints from the beginning of his epically creative final four years, to the site where he died in 1917, during the Battle of Arras.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-9138-7
ISBN-10: 1-4438-9138-X
Date of Publication: 01/08/2017
Pages / Size: 180 / A5
Price: £58.99


James Riding studied Human Geography at the University of Manchester and the University of Exeter, UK. In 2013, he took up a position as a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, UK, and he is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Space and Political Agency Research Group at the University of Tampere, Finland. He is the editor of Reanimating Regions: Culture, Politics, and Performance, and he has written widely on questions of identity, conflict, memory, landscape, art, and regional geography.