Spirit of Place : Artists, Writers and the British Landscape available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Spirit of Place : Artists, Writers and the British Landscape

Regular price £25.00 £0.00
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

'If you love literature and art and admire a beautifully written text which wears erudition lightly — this is an essential addition to the cultural bookshelf.' - Daily Mail

A panoramic view of the British landscape as seen through the eyes of writers and artists 

When we look at the landscape, what do we see? Do we experience the view over a valley or dappled sunlight on a path in the same way as those who were there before us? We have altered the countryside in innumerable ways over the last thousand years, and never more so than in the last hundred. How are these changes reflected in - and affected by - art and literature? English landscape painting is often said to be an 18th-century invention. But when we look for representations of the countryside in British art and literature, we find a story that begins with Old English poetry and treads a winding path up to the present day.

Spirit of Place offers a panoramic view of the British landscape as seen through the eyes of writers and artists from Bede and the Gawain-poet to Gainsborough, Austen, Turner and Constable; from Paul Nash and Barbara Hepworth to Robert Macfarlane. Guided by these distinctive voices and imagery, and with a sharp eye for an anecdote, Susan Owens elucidates how the British landscape has been framed, reimagined and reshaped by generations. Each account, whether limned in a psalter, jotted down in a journal or constructed from sticks and stones, holds up a mirror to its maker and their world.

A 2020 Apollo Magazine book of the year.

Details
  • Author: Susan Owens
  • Hardcover: 352 pages | 80 colour illustrations
  • Date published: August 2020
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0500252307
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.6 cm
Reviews

'Engaging … much of the pleasure of this book – and it is immensely pleasurable – comes from the author’s own enjoyment and her sympathy with her subjects' - TLS

'If you love literature and art and admire a beautifully written text which wears erudition lightly — this is an essential addition to the cultural bookshelf.' - Daily Mail

'Wonderfully fluent and revealing … Owens adroitly mixes literature, art and culture to show how perceptions of the British countryside have changed over the centuries and how artists and writers have been at the vanguard of these shifts … Owens uses her impressively wide frame of reference effortlessly – and always revealingly – to zoom from panorama to close-up'Literary Review

'In a survey that wears its learning lightly, Owens considers how writers and artists, from the 'Gawain Poet' to Thomas Gray and from Samuel Palmer to Paul Nash, have not only looked at the landscape but also shaped how we have viewed it since.' - Apollo Magazine