New non-fiction: Landmarks

Landscape and language combine to wonderful effect in the latest from Robert Macfarlane


New non-fiction: Landmarks

Robert Macfarlane’s fifth book of nature writing is full of wonder – for landscape and for language.

Concerned by the disappearance of outdoor words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary (acorn, adder, beach and bluebell have all been dropped) he embarks on a heartfelt endeavour to rediscover beautiful, specific vocabulary for weather, land and wild life from our forgotten dialects. (The Shetland term ‘fireflacht’, for example, describes ‘lightning without thunder; a flash of light that is seen on the horizon on autumn nights’).

Instead of losing ways of looking at landscape, he shows we can make the world afresh through the enchantment of words.

Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane is published by Hamish Hamilton, £20

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