Thomas Marks

Peripheral Visions

Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness

By

Jonathan Cape 256pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

‘Edgelands’ seems an apt name for that strange territory where the city squares up to the countryside, the farms process sewage and the parks cultivate retail or business. Pushing together the tidy border of an ‘edge’ with the spatial and imaginative amplitude of ‘lands’, the term catches the friction that characterises our attitude to this often neglected world. Many people prefer to hurtle through it as though it didn’t exist, but for others – from joyriders to twitchers, graffiti artists to golfers – it functions as a playground or sanctuary. And, as this intriguing, lyrical enquiry by poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts demonstrates, the forgotten tracts of brownfield and landfill can incubate all manner of surprising creative opportunities.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,