The history of 12,000 years of the British landscape, from the Ice Age to the twenty-first century, by prize-winning author Nicholas Crane, co-presenter of COAST.
How much do we really know about the place we call 'home'? In this sweeping, timely book, Nicholas Crane tells the story of Britain.
The British landscape has been continuously occupied by humans for 12,000 years, from the end of the Ice Age to the twenty-first century. It has been transformed from a European peninsula of glacier and tundra to an island of glittering cities and exquisite countryside.
In this geographical journey through time, we discover the ancient relationship between people and place and the deep-rooted tensions between town and countryside.
The twin drivers of landscape change - climate and population - have arguably wielded as much influence on our habitat as monarchs and politics. From tsunamis and farming to Roman debacles and industrial cataclysms, from henge to high-rise and hamlet to metropolis, this is a book about change and adaptation. AS Britain lurches from an exploitative past towards a more sustainable future, this is the story of our age.
Nicholas Crane is an author, geographer and cartographic expert. He is the recipient of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Mungo Park Medal in recognition of outstanding contributions to geographical knowledge, and of the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award for popularising geography and the understanding of Britain. His books include MERCATOR: THE MAN WHO MAPPED THE PLANET, CLEAR WATERS RISING: A MOUNTAIN WALK ACROSS EUROPE, TWO DEGREES WEST: AN ENGLISH JOURNEY and GREAT BRITISH JOURNEYS. He has presented several acclaimed series on BBC Two, among them MAP MAN, TOWN, BRITANNIA and COAST. He was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 2015.
'Ambitious, magnificent . . . Crane is excellent at describing climate, geology and shifting shorelines, but is at his best when plaiting together earth-shaping events with humankind and civilisation' — Andrea Wulf, Guardian
'Pungent, dramatic and drawing deeply on recent research . . . a geographer's love letter to the British and the land that formed them - and which they transformed over many millennia of creative labour. As such, it is dramatic, lyrical and even inspiring, and given all those rocks, remarkably readable' — James McConnachie, SUNDAY TIMES
'This is storytelling at its best. Crane's subject is the British landscape - the relationship between people and place, and how climate and population shaped our world ... written with brio (and) insight' — Clive Aslet, THE TIMES
'A book I absolutely loved' — Tom Holland (@holland_tom)
'Crane's book earns its place in the pantheon and it will hopefully inspire a passion for our landscapes in a new generation of readers' — Richard J Mayhew, LITERARY REVIEW
'The Making of the British Landscape by Nicholas Crane does exactly what it says on the tin, providing a panoramic account of the past 12,000 years that is simultaneously scholarly, lyrical and moving' — Tom Holland, NEW STATESMAN
'Nicholas Crane's sweeping The Making of the British Landscape shows how fragile are the views we love best, and how critical it is to guard them' — Simon Jenkins, EVENING STANDARD
'This is his greatest work for those curious to understand the geographical layers that have shaped Great Britain. From diminishing ice to the peak of our London urban Shard, Crane has captured the chronology of change of our landscapes, full of facts, imagination and archaeology' — Nigel Winser, GEOGRAPHICAL
'A definitive, encyclopaedic read and an evocative paean to the evolution of our scenery by the vastly knowledgeable BBC presenter, Nick Crane. A revealing glimpse of the Britain that once was and how we made it the place it is today' — BBC COUNTRYFILE
'Crane provides a masterful account of how landscapes were settled and shaped' — THE NATIONAL
'The book I admired most was Nicholas Crane's The Making of the British Landscape as panoramic as it is revelatory' — Tom Holland, THE OBSERVER Books of the Year
'The book I want most for Christmas is the satisfyingly hefty The Making of the British Landscape by the ever reliable Nicholas Crane' — Bill Bryson, THE OBSERVER Books of the Year
''The book I'd love for Christmas is Nicholas Crane's The Making of the British Landscape'' — Helen Dunmore, OBSERVER Books of the Year
'THIS is a magnificent, epic work by a national treasure . . . Nothing escapes his eye . . . and the sweep of history, brought to life in superb prose, is oddly moving. A tour de force' — Bel Mooney, DAILY MAIL
'This is the fascinating story of how 12,000 years of human occupation have shaped the landscape of Britain, Europe's largest island, through hunter-gathering, agriculture and industry, up to the present day' — MAIL ON SUNDAY Christmas Books
'A richly textured, thoughtful examination' — Andrew Holgate, SUNDAY TIMES Christmas Books
'Superb chronicle of the physical characteristics of Europe's largest island' — Nigel Jones, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH