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Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies Hardcover – 14 Sep 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 01 edition (14 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500518114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500518113
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Hugely ambitious, exhilaratingly written and handsomely produced. --Peter Parker, TLS - Books of the Year

The British people love talking about the weather. This book should be their bible. Harris' paean to the power and elusiveness of the climate is as sparkling and refreshing as an April shower ... Every page is a delight and beautifully illustrated throughout. --Times Higher Education

Gathers all the written English centuries and sets them dancing to the seasons on the head of its pin. --Ali Smith, TLS - Books of the Year

A fascinating portrait of that most British of preoccupations. --Independent Books of the Year

Harris's brilliantly eclectic Weatherland has made the colours of autumnal Britain even richer than usual. --Observer - Books of the Year

Wonderful ... delivers a deluge of detail that will change the way you think about weather forever. --The Sunday Times - Books of the Year

Splendid ... its glory is in the detail, in its recording of facts and lives, atmospheres and words, quirks of feeling and behaviour. --A. S. Byatt, The Guardian

Enchanting ... Beautifully illustrated and consistently fascinating, this is a book for all seasons, and one to return to year after year. --The Lady

Brilliant ... Although Weatherland is a challenging read, it is also absorbing and fascinating, while promising to broaden your horizons. --Sunday Express

Harris is an inspiring guide: genial and gossipy, scholarly and wry. Her Weatherland should be as essential a part of any walker's kit as a balaclava, sun hat and pac-a-mac. --Daily Mail

What holds the material together is Harris's fluent and unfaltering prose; she could be read for style alone. --Spectator

Wonderfully illustrated ... Harris treats her Jovean subject discursively, intelligently and with flair. Weatherland is an uplifting book, like a first spring breeze. --Observer

A brilliant, beautiful and sensual book (and it is a lovely object, with its rich paper and fine illustrations). --The Sunday Times

Harris offers literary scholarship at its life-enhancing best. --Independent

Harris ... is an excellent compiler of anecdote and evidence, and her range ... is impressive. --Financial Times

I cannot love Weatherland enough. Exquisitely illustrated, it has the wit and wonder of an exceptional literary work. --New Statesman

Harris brilliantly shows how the weather has seeped into our art like damp, winter fog. --RA Magazine

Rich, erudite and impressive. --Daily Telegraph

A gorgeous piece of writing. --Nature

Weatherland is so beautifully written that it transcends even its wealth of information. She is a poet scholar. --New Statesman

The examples Harris supplies in this well-researched and lucid book are pleasingly idiosyncratic ... A beautiful and wild place, governed only by the fleeting truths of individual experience. --Prospect

From the Inside Flap

The story of English culture over a thousand years can be told as the story of changing ideas about the weather. Writers and artists across the centuries, looking up at the same skies and walking in the same brisk air, have felt very different things. In a sweeping panorama, Weatherland allows us to witness cultural climates on the move. The Anglo-Saxons before the Norman Conquest lived in a wintry world, writing about the coldness of exile or the shelters they must defend against enemies outdoors. The Middle Ages brought the warmth of spring; the new lyrics were sung in praise of blossom and cuckoos. It is hard to find a description of a rainy night before 1700, but by the end of the eighteenth century the Romantics will take a squall as fit subject for their most probing thoughts. There have been times when the numbers on a rain gauge count for more than a pantheon of aerial gods. There have been times for meteoric marvels and times for gentle breeze. The weather is vast and yet we experience it intimately, which is why Alexandra Harris builds her remarkable story from small evocative details. There is the drawing of a twelfth-century man in February, warming bare toes by the fire. There is the tiny glass left behind from the Frost Fair of 1684, and the 'Sunspan' house in Angmering that embodies the bright ambitions of the 1930s. Harris catches the distinct voices of compelling individuals. 'Bloody cold', says Jonathan Swift in the 'slobbery' January of 1713. Percy Shelley wants to become a cloud and John Ruskin wants to bottle one. Weatherland is a celebration of English air and a life-story of those who have lived in it. As we enter what may be the last decades of English weather as we know it, this is a history for our times.

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