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Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage is, as Robert Macfarlane says in his introduction, ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a place that has ever been carried out’. That place is one of the most mysterious and oldest inhabited landscapes in the world, the islands of Aran off the west coast of Ireland.
Tim Robinson’s epic exploration of the desolate, storm-lashed, limestone rocks, which have already haunted generations of Irish writers, takes the form of a clockwise journey around the coast. Every cliff, inlet and headland reveals layers of myth and historical memory, and Robinson makes beautifully crafted observations about the habits of birds, plants and the humans who lived there and endured, leaving records in stone – on the walls, cairns and ancient forts – in story and in oral tradition.
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