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Silt Road: The Story of a Lost River [Hardcover]

Charles Rangeley-Wilson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Product Description


"A rich dowsing-out of a lost river and its stories; a passionate pursuit of landscape ghosts." (Robert MacFarlane)

"A work of extraordinary power and resonance" (Melissa Harrison Financial Times)

"Passionate, persuasive and personal…it is an elegy to a fascinating world of which many of us have lost sight" (Anthony Sattin Sunday Times)

"Superb book… Its story is an acute example of the criminal disregard our nation has had for these remarkable rivers" (Mark Lloyd BBC Countryfile)

"Silt Road is that rare ting: a book that is able to marry exacting research with imaginative fluency, told in language as pliant and revealing as water" (Earthlines)

Book Description

The story of an obsession: Charles Rangeley-Wilson goes on a quest to find a hidden river, uncovers our vanished wilderness and the history of an English landscape lost from view

From the Inside Flap

It was when for one reason or another I’d lost my way that I began to spend days by a river, walking the streets it flowed beside and was lost beneath.

At the foot of a chalk hill a stream rises in a silent copse, flows and is lost under the car parks and streets of the town its waters once gave life to. Captivated by the fate of this forgotten stream Charles Rangeley-Wilson sets out one winter’s day to uncover its story.

Distilled into the timeless passage of the river’s flow, buried under the pavements that cover meadow, marsh and hill he finds dreamers and visionaries, a chronicle of paradises lost or never found, men who shaped the land and its history: the Jacobean maverick with an Arcadian irrigation dream, the sanitary inspector planning social emancipation, the libertine aristocrat who drew naked women in ornate lakes and flower beds. In Silt Road miller’s riot, chairmakers die of fever, men dream of fish.

In this moving elegy to a disappearing natural world Charles Rangeley-Wilson brings the history of the English landscape vividly to life.

From the Back Cover

I became familiar with the streets and alleyways, the places my river flowed and where it sank from sight, the traces of its mills and watermeadows, country houses, slums and factories, all those buried histories that had shaped this impounded stream. And slowly I became gripped by the idea that every footfall of landscape has its own story fractured within the surface of things, as if the past were hammering against ice from underneath.

About the Author

Charles Rangeley-Wilson is an award-winning writer. He is a passionate conservationist, founder of the Wild Trout Trust and the Norfolk Rivers Trust and advisor to WWF on English chalk streams. He is the author of two books of travel and fishing writing, Somewhere Else and The Accidental Angler, which was also televised by the BBC. His other work for BBC includes the critically acclaimed film Fish! A Japanese Obsession. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and two children.
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