Book review: ‘Edgelands’ by Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts

Journeys into England's true wilderness.

‘Edgelands’ by Farley & Symmons Roberts

Edgelands is an account of the in-between, uninhabited, overlooked places that are not part of the countryside. A list of the book's chapter headings gives an indication of the sorts of places the authors are interested in: Cars, Paths, Dens, Containers, Landfill, Water, Sewage, Wire, Gardens, Lofts, Canals, Bridges, Masts, Wasteland, Ruins, Woodlands, Venues, Mines, Power, Pallets, Hotels, Retail, Business, Ranges, Lights, Airports, Weather, and Piers.

Edgelands was a very different book to the one I had expected. It comprises a series of essays about the sorts of things you encounter in such ‘edgelands’, rather than first-hand accounts of the authors' personal experiences in these places—although there were a few of these. The book is mainly celebratory in nature, taking the position that edgelands are an important, mainly ignored feature of the British landscape. The fact that the book has two authors, so is written in the first person plural, is also rather entertaining.

Note: I will receive a small referral fee if you buy this book via one of the above links.

By Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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