Holloway, by Robert Macfarlane and Dan Richards, is a eerily beautiful piece of nature writing, with Stanley Donwood’s spectacular etchings of woodland scenes.
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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 – author of Wildwood – 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 Roger Deakin’s early death, Robert Macfarlane returned to the holloway with the artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards. The book is about those journeys and that landscape.
Moving in the spaces between social history, psychogeography and travel writing, Holloway is a beautiful and haunted work of art.
Anyone who has grown increasingly impressed by Macfarlane's nature writing over the past decade will feel instantly at home in this slight collaboration with writer Dan Richards and illustrator Stanley Donwood ... With Donwood's ghostly, Hansel and Gretel-esque illustrations peppering the prose, Holloway is undeniably a gorgeous package. Even though it takes less than half an hour to read, the subtle call to revel in the wonder of the natural world lasts much longer.
An impressionistic piece of landscape writing, Holloway evokes the sense that time is densely layered in these secret lanes; many people have trodden here, and their ghosts are still apparent in the deep tree-shaded paths.
A perfect miniature prose poem of a book, beautifully printed and published.
The pleasures herein are almost intangible and they're certainly initially fleeting. Yet these pellucid tales of Dorset's deep-set lanes and their duvets of foliage will stay with you long into the summer dusk and may even encourage you to embark on your own investigation of England's ancient arteries.
Glorious ... endearingly open-hearted.
This beautifully produced book is part tribute to the late Roger Deakin, part trafelogue, and bearing in mind the Faber imprint, part poetic evocation of the 'Holloways' of south Dorset, infused with Macfarlane's sensitivity to nature and beautifully illustrated by Stanley Donwood.
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