- Published: 01/07/2010
- ISBN: 9781847081445
- 304 pages
Madeleine Bunting is one of the most high-profile commentators in Britain. Her father was deeply conservative, with romantic, old-fashioned views about England. After his death, and wanting to understand him better, Bunting began to explore his passionate, lifelong attachment to a small plot of land in North Yorkshire. Delving deep into the rich history of this acre, she uncovers traces of its Neolithic inhabitants and of the Cistercian monks; she learns of the medieval battles and considers the changing face of agriculture and leisure. The result sheds a fascinating light on what a contested, layered place England is, and on what belonging to a place might mean to all of us. The Plot is an original, heartfelt and deeply political book.
An intriguing and elegant chronicle of a wild and woolly patch of England ... Bunting is on finest form dealing with recent history, particularly when she exposes the modern "cultural myth of the rural idyll" and the very English idiocy of preserving this view while the environment dies. Her scholarship ultimately produces a persuasive argument for a more potent sense of place in rootless, mobile Britain
Bunting's exploration of the relationships between place and people is wide-ranging, researched with great intelligence and richly supported by detail
A startling, willed, one-off book ... What she sets out to do is to look at the acre of land "in the middle of nowhere", with scholarly zest, until it becomes no longer a nowhere but a somewhere, known and minutely understood. She is an exemplary guide ... Her greatest achievement is to work a single acre to produce a more general portrait of England ... Above all, she questions what belonging is and discovers that it is about "commitment rather than possession"
From the Same Author
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Labours of Love
Love of Country
Madeleine Bunting on Granta.com
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