Friday, November 06, 2015
by Robert Macfarlane, Dan Richards, Stanley Donwood (Illustrations)
Holloway - a hollow way, a sunken path. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock.
In July 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin travelled to explore the holloways of South Dorset's sandstone. They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres & great strangeness.
Six years later, after Deakin's early death, Macfarlane returned to the holloway with the artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards. The book is about those journeys and that landscape.
It is difficult to know how to describe this exquisite little book. It is only 33 pages long, and some of those pages are filled with delicate black-and-white drawings of trees. It’s a memoir of a camping trip inspired by a book I’ve never heard of, it’s a extended poem about the sunken holloways of Dorset – those deep, mysterious tunnels between tree-roots that were once roads, goat-tracks, and field-paths – and it's a celebration of nature, friendship, and language. I’ve read it three times now, and find new delights each time. It was so beautiful, so marvellous, I have gone and bought several more of Robert Macfarlane’s books since, hoping for more enchantment.
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