Coastlines | Granta

  • Published: 08/10/2015
  • ISBN: 9781847088994
  • 129x20mm
  • 368 pages


Patrick Barkham

Told through a series of walks beside the sea, this is a story of the most beautiful 742 miles of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: their rocks, plants and animals, their views, walks and history, and the people who have made their lives within sight of the waves. As he travels along coastal paths, visits beaches and explores coves, Barkham reflects on the long campaign to protect our shoreline from tidal erosion and human damage and weaves together fascinating tales about every aspect of the coast – from ancient conquests and smuggler’s routes, to exotic migratory birds and bucket-and-spade holidays – to tell a more profound story about our island nation and the way we are shaped by our shores.

Real, proper, close-to-poetry literature... [from the] heralded nature writer. It is an ambitious thing, a hybrid of practical and ethereal. Barkham's best chapters made me want to drop everything and go there. An intriguing, cerebral guidebook

Melanie Reid, The Times

To successfully combine this kind of travel writing and natural history with theories about cultural history requires accessible, rhythmic prose and a genial narrative voice, and, as readers of his previous books will know, Barkham has both. His experience as a journalist tells in the tightness of his storytelling, and he has a superb eye for the effective one-liner... but for all its usefulness, accessibility and geniality, the book is most distinguished by its ambitious, Romantic evocations of the spirit of place

Richard Benson ‘Book of the Week’, Independent

Striking and inventive... Unlike many contemporary nature writers, who embark on their journeys in the wake of personal crisis, Barkham is a cheery, straightforward guide. A useful one, too... [Coastlines is an] informative, enthusiastic and at times rapturous celebration of our shores

Blake Morrison, Guardian

The Author

Patrick Barkham is natural history writer for the Guardian. He is author of The Butterfly Isles, Badgerlands, Coastlines and Islander. His latest book is Wild Child. He lives in Norfolk with his family.

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