Diana Athill

Lore of the Land

The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre

By

Granta Books 304pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

This fine book offers so much that it asks to be reread almost at once. Its purpose sounds simple: to portray a place, and thus to help its author to understand her difficult father, whose life was bound up with that place. But simple it is not. Madeleine Bunting undertook her portrayal with such a powerful combination of curiosity, passion, imagination, sense of history and clear sight that she has uncovered layer after layer of her subject, much of it beautiful, much astonishing, some infuriating, some deeply disturbing, all gripping. It seems unlikely that pondering an acre of ground on the edge of the North York Moors could lead into such a variety of themes, but it does, and every one of them convinces and enlightens.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,