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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant classic
Ian Mercer has impeccable credentials for writing the new classic book on Dartmoor. By background an ecologist and teacher he was Chief National Park Officer for Dartmoor for 17 years up to 1990, when he became Chief Executive for the Countryside Council for Wales. He has long lived on Dartmoor and is currently Chairman of the Dartmoor Commoners Council which regulates...
Published on 11 Nov 2009 by N. R. Cowling

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great content - sloppy editorial quality
I was excited about receiving this book, but am struggling to enjoy the content because of the sloppy standard of the editorial work. Within the first few pages we have typos and rogue full stops, and even a factual inaccuracy that refers to something as 'Sennett's Cross', when it is in fact 'Bennett's Cross'. I am greatly disappointed that the standards of the publishing...
Published on 23 Sep 2010 by Hidingbehindtheauthor


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant classic, 11 Nov 2009
By 
N. R. Cowling (Devon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Collins New Naturalist Library (111) - Dartmoor (Paperback)
Ian Mercer has impeccable credentials for writing the new classic book on Dartmoor. By background an ecologist and teacher he was Chief National Park Officer for Dartmoor for 17 years up to 1990, when he became Chief Executive for the Countryside Council for Wales. He has long lived on Dartmoor and is currently Chairman of the Dartmoor Commoners Council which regulates and represents the farmers whose cattle, sheep and ponies graze the extensive common land. The book is liberally illustrated with photos and diagrams, and covers every aspect of Dartmoor's long history. It is also bang up to date, and does not shy away from pointing the finger at some of the less well advised interventions of recent statutory agencies. Above all the book is beautifully written, avoiding all jargon and never using a long word when a short one will do. You feel in the presence of a real human voice, and Mercer's deep knowledge of and love for Dartmoor and its inhabitants, including the human ones, always shines through. Perhaps not a book to be read straight through at one go, but one which anyone interested in Dartmoor will want to have on the shelf, and refer to again and again.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dartmoor - A Statement of its Time, 12 Nov 2009
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The Dartmoor Bibliography of Peter Hamilton-Leggett lists some 7,000 entries, demonstrating the vast literature of Dartmoor. Among these entries there are some titles that stand head and shoulders above the rest and command a space on the bookshelf of every lover of Dartmoor. It probably started with Samuel Rowe's Perambulation of Dartmoor and was later followed by Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor and other titles, Worth's Dartmoor, and Hemery's High Dartmoor. The Dartmoor Essays from the Devonshire Association, and Dartmoor - A New Study edited by Crispin Gill are also notable volumes on the same shelf as also is the Dartmoor volume in the New Naturalist series by Harvey and St Leger Gordon.

A treat therefore lies in store with the publication of Ian Mercer's Dartmoor in the New Naturalist Library series. The book is a reworking of the 1953 title by Harvey and St Leger Gordon - where Ian Mercer is acknowledged for providing assistance, but is entirely new material. The depth and breadth of knowledge that Ian Mercer brings to this title comes from his long association with Dartmoor of over 50 years. The first National Park Officer, and now chairman of the Dartmoor Commoners' Council, there can be few who can match his experience.

Although Ian's business card describes him as "Itinerant Chairman", it is in his role as a geographer that he gives us his appreciation of Dartmoor. And unlike the earlier volume in the New Naturalist series, it is an understanding of the area that sees an insoluble link between the human and the natural aspects of the landscape. So as well as the descriptions of vegetation and fauna we also see the people who have worked the landscape through the ages and the vital role that farming has contributed to the creation of the moorland.

This book is a much needed appreciation of Dartmoor as it stands in the first decade of the twenty first century. It will very quickly become a classic work.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great content - sloppy editorial quality, 23 Sep 2010
I was excited about receiving this book, but am struggling to enjoy the content because of the sloppy standard of the editorial work. Within the first few pages we have typos and rogue full stops, and even a factual inaccuracy that refers to something as 'Sennett's Cross', when it is in fact 'Bennett's Cross'. I am greatly disappointed that the standards of the publishing house and editorial quality of this prestigious series has fallen so drastically. It has really marred my enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible editing, turgid prose, 7 Mar 2013
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I bought the paperback version. The worst-edited mainstream book I've ever had. Sentences crash into confused grammar and syntax. Factual errors also. As another Amazon reviewer notes, mistakes weren't corrected for the paperback. Amazingly poor stuff and an embarrassment to the New Naturalist imprint.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dartmoor - A Statement of Its Time, 25 Sep 2009
This review is from: Collins New Naturalist Library (111) - Dartmoor (Paperback)
This is one of the outstanding Dartmoor books to have been published for many years. It will stand among the greats of Dartmoor literature as a comprehensive study of Dartmoor that brings it screaming into the 21st century. Well written, lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams. This book is a must for anybody with an interest in Dartmoor and an absolute must for any Dartmoor devotee.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity, 11 Mar 2014
I was really excited to find this in the library, but having struggled through the first few chapters I have to agree with the other one star reviews: this is one of the most badly written and poorly edited natural history books I've had the misfortune to come across. To say Ian Mercer's prose is awkward would be something of an understatement, and whoever proof-read it needs a new pair of glasses. If I'd spent 50 on it I'd be livid!

The cover design is wonderful though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another fabulous Dartmoor information guide, 29 Jun 2011
By 
C. Chadwick "book Lover" (Tamworth,Staffs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Collins New Naturalist Library (111) - Dartmoor (Paperback)
Most recent comprehensive guide to Dartmoor.It will sit alongside my Eric Hemery " High Dartmoor".
Good read.Just overlook printing mistakes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!, 5 Mar 2014
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Only a pedant could read this book and point out the typos. This is an outstanding book: heavy, beautiful binding, high quality paper. It's bang up to date, and is the definitive guide to understanding Dartmoor in the 21st century. It makes a terrific companion to the earlier New Naturalist for Dartmoor, so get a copy of both. I've lived on the moor for over ten years: this book continues to aid my understanding of the geology, flora and fauna etc.
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0 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dartmoor, 30 Oct 2009
By 
Mrs. Joan L. Cowlard (surrey) - See all my reviews
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A new book - condition as expected for a new vook and content good if that is your interest
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Collins New Naturalist Library (111) - Dartmoor
Collins New Naturalist Library (111) - Dartmoor by Ian Mercer (Paperback - 17 Sep 2009)
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