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The Moor

William Atkins

The Moor: Lives Landscape Literature by William Atkins gives us the story of the moors – from Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor in the southwest up to the Scottish border, via Yorkshire and Northumberland – and how they have shaped our people, culture and industry.

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In this deeply personal journey across our nation’s most forbidding and most mysterious terrain, William Atkins takes the reader from south to north, in search of the heart of this elusive landscape. His account is both travelogue and natural history, and an exploration of moorland’s uniquely captivating position in our literature, history and psyche.

Atkins may be a solitary wanderer across these vast expanses, but his journey is full of encounters, busy with the voices of the moors, past and present: murderers and monks, smugglers and priests, gamekeepers and ramblers, miners and poets, developers and environmentalists. As he travels, he shows us that the fierce landscapes we associate with Wuthering Heights and The Hound of the Baskervilles are far from being untouched wildernesses. Daunting and defiant, the moors echo with tales of a country and the people who live in it – a mighty, age-old landscape standing steadfast against the passage of time.

Critic Reviews

Atkins' book - a travelogue cum social history that takes him back and forth over the mysterious threshold between town and country - seeks to bring into sharp relief the two great forces that shaped modern Britain: its rural heritage and the Industrial Revolution. A book that will grip and then send you out, in boots and waterproofs, to see for yourself the expansive seas of brown, green and purple it so vividly describes.

Rachel Cooke, Observer

William Atkins’s first book, The Moor, was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and his second, The Immeasurable World, won the Stanford Dolman Travel Writing Award. In 2016 he was awarded the British Library Eccles Prize.  His journalism and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, the Guardian and the New York Times.

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