Holloway by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards

Holloway by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards is a short book, just 36 pages long, which was described as  A perfect miniature of a prose-poem of a book by William Dalrymple (Guardian). It was written in memory of Roger Deakin, the environmental and nature writer.

Macfarlane, Donwood and Richards travelled to the Chideock Valley in Dorset, in search of a particular holloway which features in Geoffrey Household’s book Rogue Male. A holloway is a sunken pathway, due to the make-up of the chalky soil there and the many generations of foot and hoof fall the land has dropped dramatically over the years. In the past such places have been used by people who were hiding out from the authorities, such as Roman Catholic priests in Elizabethan times.

Robert Macfarlane had previously gone on the same journey with his friend Roger Deakin, and this re-run was a sort of homage to their friend. It turned out to be a bit of a strange and slightly spooky journey, but it’s an entertainng informative read, with atmospheric illustrations by Stanley Donwood.  I borrowed this book from the library.

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