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Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of…

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place (2014)

by Philip Marsden

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is a combination memoir of the author's moving and then renovating a house and his rambles around Cornwall. He's trying to understand the history of the land, the things that make Cornwall, Cornwall. There's a particular focus on the neolithic that I found very interesting, but you also end up learning about more modern things like the china clay trade. If you've liked Marsden's other books or have an interest in Cornwall, this would be worth picking up. ( )
  inge87 | Nov 30, 2016 |
This is a wonderful and surprising book - surprising because finding it on the Library shelves was serendipitous but also because it was well-written and fascinating. I found it hard to put down and have been back to the Library for more of his writing.

Marsden's exploration of place as opposed to space is close to the Maori idea and emphasis on place in New Zealand - having a turangawaewae (a place to stand) and also belonging to a place so that one says this is my maunga (mountain) - this is my awa (river). The idea of locus amoenus - the delightful place, is explored too pp.93-4

My only other encounter with standing stones and megaliths has been visiting the dolmen and menhir of Brittany and Stonehenge circle. His early chapters about the circles and lines of Cornwall were really interesting.

He included just enough personal stuff such as the renovation of the old house they bought at Ardevora, so that the reader learns something of him too. This is cleverly and finely balanced.

He introduced me to three Cornishmen I had not heard of before: Charles Henderson, Peter Lanyon and Jack Clemo. Wonderful stuff! And New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield is mentioned too!!

The maps are great and the index is really useful. A great book! ( )
  louis69 | Jul 23, 2015 |
Glastonbury and Tintagel and many other places brought to life sensitively and evocatively - good, enjoyable, made me think and want to visit them again
  jon1lambert | Mar 11, 2015 |
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In the village where I grew up, on the edge of the Medip Hills, a lane ran up from the church and near the top, it forked.
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