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A newly ancient vision of the English landscape from one of its most revered mythographers.
In an age of ecological turbulence, our understanding of the hills, rivers and fields we live among is more critical than ever. But what might the academic study of geography fail to teach us, and what relationships to the land might be revealed by reinvestigating the neglected knowledge practices of myth, history and legend?
Michael Dames sets out to reconnect with the hallowed landscapes of Britain and Ireland, and finds them populated by ancient goddesses, strange rites, and embedded energies. As he voyages beneath the Neolithic immensity of Silbury Hill, past the chalk horses of Uffington, and the ravaged cliffs of Land's End peninsular, Dames meets a wild community of holy cows, industrious bees, Sheila-na- Gigs, and Salmon women, channeling the peculiar folk tales they have to tell.
Presented as a series of insightful and lyrical vignettes beautifully illustrated by artist Natalie Kay-Thatcher, each chapter of this far-roaming book conducts a pilgrimage along the tracks and byways of dimly remembered lore, renewing connections with customs that underscore our relationship to the lands we inhabit. It offers a pagan's progress towards re-enchanting and deepening our sense of belonging to a landscape both strange and sacred.