Tag Archives: Stones

Stone-book and word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane returns to A Land

A Land, the unique, unclassifiable book Jacquetta Hawkes was born to write, is celebrated in the latest publication from nature writer Robert Macfarlane: LANDMARKS.

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Landmarks is a word-hoard, a glossary of disappearing dialect words for British nature phenomena, a celebration of the particular and the specific (qualities to which Jacquetta was of course drawn in her own writing).  Macfarlane reflects on his own journey into nature writing and the authors who influenced him.  He describes A Land as the “stone-book” of his twenties and devotes several pages to reflections on its power and strangeness.

Macfarlane always has interesting things to say about A Land, a book he has clearly pondered over many years.  I noticed the way he discusses an interesting paradox in A Land.  Its scale is both very broad – spanning millennia, transcending ideas of nation/country/race, absurd when seen from the perspective of deepest time – and very precise.  It is recognisably a product of its particular time and place: New Elizabethan Britain: the era of the Festival of Britain, renewal after the privations of post-war austerity, the romantic modernism of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.  As Macfarlane notes, Jacquetta shaped the relationship of these disparate elements with aplomb and daring, zooming from her own garden to the Cretaceous and bringing all together with passion, deep knowledge and honesty.

From Aquabob to Zawn, Guardian article by Robert Macfarlane about the word-hoard in Landmarks & some (very positive) reviews of the book: Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Times Higher Education Supplement.

Words, Land, and Landscape at Ilkley Literature Festival

Just announced: the 2010 Ilkley Literature Festival programme includes several events celebrating the centenary of Jacquetta Hawkes.  More detail about buying tickets etc available from the Festival website.

Tuesday 28 September-Sunday 31 October 2010, Manor House Museum. Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes.  An exhibition in which I use the treasures of the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive to tell her fascinating story. (Event no. 2).

Wednesday 6 October 2010. 6.30-8 pm, Manor House Museum.  Private view: special chance to enjoy the above exhibition and Faces of Poetry, also on show in the Manor House.  (Event no. 54).

Wednesday 6 October 7.45 pm,  Ilkley Playhouse Wildmans.  Old Land, New Land: a journey through Jacquetta Hawkes’ poetic geography. Dr Christine Finn, Jacquetta’s biographer,  introduces Figures in a Landscape, an experimental film about Barbara Hepworth scripted by Jacquetta Hawkes and continuing the fusion of literature and geology shown in her masterpiece, A Land. (Event no. 55).

Saturday 16 October 7.30 pm,  St Margaret’s Hall.  Jacquetta Hawkes and her Circle. Dr Finn and Dr Jon Wood of the Henry Moore Institute discuss the art, film and poetry scene of the 1950s (Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Festival of Britain) and Jacquetta’s involvement. (Event no. 165).

The Stanza Stones project, collaborating with Simon Armitage, will draw creative inspiration from the Pennine landscape, linking beautifully with our exploration of similar ideas in the 1950s.