The Collins Nature Library is a new series of classic British nature writing – reissues of long-lost seminal works. The titles have been chosen by one of Britain’s best known and highly-acclaimed nature writers, Robert Macfarlane, who has also written new introductions that put these classics into a modern context.
A Land is Jacquetta Hawkes’ seminal work, and a classic piece of British Nature writing. It is the history of the shaping of Britain and its people from the first, lifeless, Pre-Cambrian rocks to the days of the ice-cream carton and the hydrogen bomb.
First, as an archaeologist and geologist, Hawkes paints a picture of the creation of Britain from the very first forming of the earth’s crust, through periods marked by lifeless worlds of rock, water and air, to the first emergence of life that senses its surroundings. The worms and trilobites mark the beginning of the story of life that evolves through the great reptiles, dinosaurs and finally humans.
This is science writing at its very best. Engrossing stories, curious facts and powerful narrative combine under the umbrella of poetic writing and unadulterated passion for the subject.
Widely lauded on its publication, this is an exposition of complex science in a way that is not just comprehensible, but also moving.