Book: Rising Ground: A Search For The Spirit Of Place

Travel writer Philip Marsden has spent years describing his journeys across Europe and Africa, but his latest book focuses on his home county, Cornwall, inspired by a family decision to renovate an old farmhouse.

Rising Ground: A Search For The Spirit Of Place

Philip Marsden

Granta, £20; ebook, £10.30

His interest in the importance humans place on location and landscape is piqued by nostalgia for his childhood wanderings. The result is Rising Ground: part anthropological analysis, part history and part travelogue covering his slow exploration west from Bodwin Moor to the Isles of Scilly.

Historical and modern personalities either central to or experts in the county’s history people the text, while 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, so while his use of local terms for the landmarks can occasionally baffle, overall the book is both informative and entertaining.


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