I thoroughly enjoyed this short book. This is, perhaps, unsurprising, given I’m not above writing about landscape myself. The book comprises a collection of essays by Linda Cracknell, a number of which were previously published elsewhere. Cracknell shares some genuinely interesting thoughts on writing, in conjunction with entertaining accounts of visits to particular locations.
I’ve always liked the idea that essay writers write to find out what they themselves think about particular topics. Cracknell makes the equally interesting point that writing about particular landscapes forces writers to observe more closely:
The act of writing calls us to refresh our tired ways of noticing, and a writer perhaps has to look as patiently as a scientist, visual artist or naturalist does.
As someone currently writing a book about how looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes enables us to observe the natural world in new and better ways, I very much liked the idea of observing landscapes through writers’ eyes.