“An unforgettable tale.” — National Geographic In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked some of the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he travels with his eighty-nine-year-old father—a comical, wily, courageous, and infuriating former British intelligence officer—along the border they call home. On Stewart’s four-hundred-mile walk across a magnificent natural landscape, he sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing projects, in hostels and farmhouses. With every fresh encounter—from an Afghanistan veteran based on Hadrian’s Wall to a shepherd who still counts his flock in sixth-century words—Stewart uncovers more about the forgotten peoples and languages of a vanished country, now crushed between England and Scotland. Stewart and his father are drawn into unsettling reflections on landscape, their parallel careers in the bygone British Empire and Iraq, and the past, present, and uncertain future of the United Kingdom. And as the end approaches, the elder Stewart’s stubborn charm transforms this chronicle of nations into a fierce, exuberant encounter between a father and a son. This is a profound reflection on family, landscape, and history by a powerful and original writer. “The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father.” — New York Times Book Review
From a member of Parliament and best-selling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the Marches--the borderland between England and Scotland--and the political turmoil and vivid lives that created it
Author: Rory Stewart
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Release Date: 2016-09-20
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the landscape of his home on the borderland between England and Scotland - known as the Marches -- and the history, people, and conflicts that shape it
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
An adventurous diplomat’s “engrossing and often darkly humorous” memoir of working with Iraqis after the fall of Saddam Hussein(Publishers Weekly). In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat who had recently completed an epic walk from Turkey to Bangladesh, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war. The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewart’s year. As a participant he takes us inside the occupation and beyond the Green Zone, introducing us to a colorful cast of Iraqis and revealing the complexity and fragility of a society we struggle to understand. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, it amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.
From the northern wilds of Greenland and Scotland to the far away reaches of Scandinavia and Siberia, a moving meditation on the allure of travel and the meaning of home. The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life. In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory. An intimate journey of the heart and mind, Sixty Degrees North begins with the author's loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an embrace of the place he calls home.
Author: Madeleine Bunting
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2017-04-11
Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition. After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead. For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.
From the author of Earth: An Intimate History, an exuberant "biography" of four acres of woodland, evoking a cosmos of living and inanimate things and imagining its millennia of existence A few years ago, award-winning scientist Richard Fortey purchased four acres of woodland in the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire, England. The Wood for the Trees is the joyful, lyrical portrait of what he found there. With one chapter for each month, we move through the seasons: tree felling in January, moth hunting in June, finding golden mushrooms in September. Fortey, along with the occasional expert friend, investigates the forest top to bottom, discovering a new species and explaining the myriad connections that tie us to nature and nature to itself. His textured, evocative prose and gentle humor illuminate the epic story of a small forest. But he doesn't stop at mere observation. The Wood for the Trees uses the forest as a springboard back through time, full of rich and unexpected tales of the people, plants, and animals that once called the land home. With Fortey's help, we come to see a universe in miniature. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Stephen Brown
Publisher: Oberon Books
Release Date: 2017-04-28
‘It’s democracy. Everyone is equally unhappy. It’s the defining feature of the system’ September 2003. Rory Stewart, a thirty year old former British diplomat, is posted to serve as governor in a province of the newly liberated Iraq. His job is to help build a society at peace with itself and its neighbours – an ambitious mission, admittedly, but outperforming Saddam should surely not prove too difficult... Stephen Brown’s new play, based on Rory Stewart’s critically acclaimed memoir Occupational Hazards, tells an extraordinary story about the moral conflicts, the dangers and the comic absurdities inherent in any foreign occupation.
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2011-02-10
George MacDonald Fraser wrote The Candlemass Road after completing his research and writing The Steel Bonnets, his nonfiction account of the Anglo-Scottish border Reivers. Young Lady Margaret Dacre was brought up in the genteel fashion at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. When her father is murdered, she inherits his lands in the English West March and is plunged into a world where violence and raiding are commonplace. Fraser’s characters are, as always, richly developed through vivid descriptions and witty dialogues. His novel is true to the spirit of the Anglo-Scottish frontier feud.
Author: Graham Robb
Release Date: 2018-02-13
The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England. It is the oldest detectable territorial division in Great Britain. At the height of its notoriety, it was the bloodiest region in the country, and preoccupied the monarchs and parliaments of England, Scotland and France. After most of its population was slaughtered or deported, it became the last part of Great Britain to be conquered and brought under the control of a state. Today, it has vanished from the map and no one knows exactly where and what it was. When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary. Under the powerful spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past – that would uncover lost towns and roads, shed new light on the Dark Age, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land, and lead to more than one discovery of major historical significance. For the first time – and with all of his customary charm, wit and literary grace – Graham Robb, prize-winning author of The Discovery of France, has written about his native country. The Debatable Land is an epic and energetic book that takes us from 2016 back to an age when neither England nor Scotland could be imagined to reveal a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.
The five chapters of this book take you through the day - from healthy, satisfying breakfasts like Brilliantly rustic seed and nut loaf, Sweet almond crepes with ricotta and honey-grilled stone fruit, Delicate chamomile muffins, Omelette with gruyere, red onion and fig jam; through to lunch box stars Crispy almond-coated chicken nuggets with homemade tomato sauce, Simple savoury muffins, Incredible vegan choc chunk cookies; family suppers of Jamaican jerk chicken, Quinoa pilaf with peas, mint and parmesan and after-dinner treats of Raw fig tarts with milk chocolate ganache, Salted banana butter caramel mousse. Each recipe contains unprocessed, natural ingredients, and has very few steps, resulting in dishes that are uncomplicated, quick to prepare, yet delightfully delicious.