Holloway
Holloway - a hollow way, a sunken path. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock.In July 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin travelled to explore the holloways of South Dorset's sandstone. They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres & great strangeness.Six years later, after Deakin's early death, Macfarlane returned to the holloway with the artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards. The book is about those journeys and that landscape.

Holloway Details

TitleHolloway
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 16th, 2013
PublisherFaber & Faber
ISBN-139780571302710
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Environment, Nature, Poetry, Travel, Science, Natural History, Walking

Holloway Review

  • Kate Forsyth
    January 1, 1970
    It is difficult to know how to describe this exquisite little book. It is only 33 pages long, and some of those pages are filled with delicate black-and-white drawings of trees. It’s a memoir of a camping trip inspired by a book I’ve never heard of, it’s a extended poem about the sunken holloways of Dorset – those deep, mysterious tunnels between tree-roots that were once roads, goat-tracks, and field-paths – and it's a celebration of nature, friendship, and language. I’ve read it three times no It is difficult to know how to describe this exquisite little book. It is only 33 pages long, and some of those pages are filled with delicate black-and-white drawings of trees. It’s a memoir of a camping trip inspired by a book I’ve never heard of, it’s a extended poem about the sunken holloways of Dorset – those deep, mysterious tunnels between tree-roots that were once roads, goat-tracks, and field-paths – and it's a celebration of nature, friendship, and language. I’ve read it three times now, and find new delights each time. It was so beautiful, so marvellous, I have gone and bought several more of Robert Macfarlane’s books since, hoping for more enchantment.
    more
  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    Holloway - a hollow way, a sunken path.  A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll of rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock.Holloway follows a journey, and its repetition.  In 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin journeyed to the Chideok Valley in the Marshwood Dale of Dorset to 'explore the holloway' of its sandstone.  Here, 'They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres & great strangeness.'  Following Deakin's death, Macfarlane decided to revisit t Holloway - a hollow way, a sunken path.  A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll of rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock.Holloway follows a journey, and its repetition.  In 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin journeyed to the Chideok Valley in the Marshwood Dale of Dorset to 'explore the holloway' of its sandstone.  Here, 'They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres & great strangeness.'  Following Deakin's death, Macfarlane decided to revisit the same holloway, accompanied by artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards.  The book which ensued is 'about those journeys & that landscape...'. Holloways can be found 'where the stone is soft - malmstone, greensand, sandstone, chalk.'  Their characteristics, and the way in which they came to be, are described in the following manner: 'Like creases in the land, or the wear on the stone sill of a doorstep or stair, they are the result of repeated human actions.  Their age chastens without crushing.  They relate to other old paths & tracks in the landscape - ways that still connect place to place or person to person.'  Macfarlane traces the history of these distinctive holloways, noting that they have been in existence since the Iron Age.  None, he says, are 'younger than 300 years old.'  Very few holloways are still in use; most prove to be impracticably narrow given the ways in which we now travel: 'They exist,' affirms Macfarlane, 'but cryptically.  They have thrown up their own defences and disguises: nettles & briars guard their entrances, trees to either side bend over them & lace their topmost branches to form a tunnel...'.In Holloway, Macfarlane examines the original journey which he took with Deakin, whom he lovingly describes as '... worker with wood; writer of books; maker of friends'.  He talks quite touchingly of what the pair chose to take away with them on their journey to Dorset: 'These were among the things we carried with us: the novel Rogue Male, published by Geoffrey Household in 1939; a map of the area; two tents; a trenching tool; penknives (Roger's blunt, mine blunter); matches & candles; two hipflasks (one of whisky, one of arak.)'  It is in Household's novel that the location of the particular holloway the pair sought is revealed.This is the first time in which I have read one of Macfarlane's full works, but it will not be the last.  His choice of vocabulary is striking and often original; his descriptions incredibly evocative.  His prose is layered, rich, and unusual.  For instance, he writes: 'One need not be a mystic to accept that certain old paths are linear only in a simple sense.  Like trees, they have branches & like rivers they have tributaries.  They are rifts within which time might exist as pure surface, prone to recapitulation & rhyme, weird morphologies, uncanny doublings.'  Throughout, Macfarlane's writing is gentle and lilting.  He offers peaceful meditations on the countryside, as well as the subtle ways in which the landscape has changed, along with our place within it.This rich prose has such a sumptuousness to it, and the whole has a poetic feel.  Of their initial immersion in the holloway, Macfarlane writes: 'The bright hot surface world was forgotten.  So close was the latticework of leaves & branches & so high the eastern side of the holloway that light penetrated its depths only in thin lances.  We came occasionally to small clearings, where light fell & grass grew.  In the windless warm air, groups of flies bobbed & weaved, each dancing around a set point like vibrating atoms held in a matrix.'  Macfarlane's descriptions and rumination both are vivid and atmospheric.On his second journey, Macfarlane read poetry by Edward Thomas, 'who was the great twentieth-century poet of the old way...  His poems are thronged with ghosts, doubles & paths that peter out.  He understood himself in topographical terms & he saw that paths run through people as surely as they run through places.'Holloway is a slim volume, but it evokes a great deal.  Spanning under 40 pages, it is a wonderful book to absorb in a single sitting, and is sure to give one a greater appreciation of the natural phenomenons which surround one.  It is worth noting the wonderful idea which came with the initial printing of Holloway; in its first run, 277 copies were produced, as that is the height in metres above sea level of Pilsdon Pen, where the Iron Age fort in which this book was begun is situated.  Pilsdon Pen is the second highest point in the county of Dorset, and clearly offered much inspiration to Macfarlane and Deakin.
    more
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    (2.5) In 2011 Macfarlane set out to recreate a journey through South Dorset that he’d first undertaken with the late Roger Deakin in 2005, targeting the sunken paths of former roadways. This is not your average nature or travel book, though; it’s much more fragmentary and poetic than you’d expect from a straightforward account of a journey through the natural world. I thought the stream-of-consciousness style overdone, and got more out of the song about the book by singer-songwriter Anne-Marie S (2.5) In 2011 Macfarlane set out to recreate a journey through South Dorset that he’d first undertaken with the late Roger Deakin in 2005, targeting the sunken paths of former roadways. This is not your average nature or travel book, though; it’s much more fragmentary and poetic than you’d expect from a straightforward account of a journey through the natural world. I thought the stream-of-consciousness style overdone, and got more out of the song about the book by singer-songwriter Anne-Marie Sanderson. The black-and-white illustrations are nicely evocative, though.Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
    more
  • Treakie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*“...He sat, with another, around the flames while fire shadows spun on the holloway walls...” Robert Macfarlane reading with a soundscape and images - prepare for dark mossy shivers: https://youtu.be/QxpmPzyxBN4
  • Nigeyb
    January 1, 1970
    'Holloway' is a lovely little companion piece to 'Rogue Male' by Geoffrey Household. It takes all of 15 minutes to read and it's a beautiful, slight account of two poignant journeys to a holloway in Dorset. The same one that features in 'Rogue Male'.Robert Macfarlane wrote 'Holloway' with Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards, and it relates a trip Robert Macfarlane made with the late Roger Deakin to find the Holloway that plays such an important part in Rogue Male.... Holloway - a hollow way, a sunk 'Holloway' is a lovely little companion piece to 'Rogue Male' by Geoffrey Household. It takes all of 15 minutes to read and it's a beautiful, slight account of two poignant journeys to a holloway in Dorset. The same one that features in 'Rogue Male'.Robert Macfarlane wrote 'Holloway' with Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards, and it relates a trip Robert Macfarlane made with the late Roger Deakin to find the Holloway that plays such an important part in Rogue Male.... Holloway - a hollow way, a sunken path. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock.In July 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin travelled to explore the holloways of South Dorset's sandstone. They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres & great strangeness.Six years later, after Deakin's early death, Macfarlane returned to the holloway with the artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards. The book is about those journeys and that landscapeIt was also where Geoffrey Household’s son scattered the author’s ashes.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    A short and sweet companion piece to The Wild Places. In this Robert MacFarlane revisits the Holloway at Chideock in West Dorset which he visited originally several years earlier with his friend Roger Deakin, who died inbetween the writing of these two books. It is a gentle and poetic tribute both to Deakin and to the poet Edward Thomas.
    more
  • Brian Robbins
    January 1, 1970
    If one measured the value of a book by its length or weight related to it's cost this would be negligible, with a total of approx. 13 and a half pages of text, when all the partial pages are totalled up for a cost of £14.99.However, as we fortunately don't do this & judge instead by quality of text and illustrations, this was a delightful book of the highest quality. Some of the text is a re-working of items found in Macfarlane's other work, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what he did by bri If one measured the value of a book by its length or weight related to it's cost this would be negligible, with a total of approx. 13 and a half pages of text, when all the partial pages are totalled up for a cost of £14.99.However, as we fortunately don't do this & judge instead by quality of text and illustrations, this was a delightful book of the highest quality. Some of the text is a re-working of items found in Macfarlane's other work, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what he did by bringing these together with new material in co-operation with Dan Richards. I would also have been prepared to pay more than the cover price simply for the wonderful illustrations by Stanley Donwood.A joy of a book.
    more
  • Richard Newton
    January 1, 1970
    A tiny little book that took me little more than 20 minutes to read, and even that was slow as I was savouring it. An ode to friendship, to nature, to the past. A book of memories and images. Part prose, part poetry and rather wonderful.
  • Graham
    January 1, 1970
    I was given this book, which is very nicely produced, with pen and ink drawings illustrating a sunken path, a hollow way, an ancient track worn down by generations. But the illustrations are all rather similar, and the writing, in this very short book - a kind of memorial to the writer Roger Deakin who died in his forties - with whom Robert Macfarlane had walked along the holloway near Chideock in Dorset, looking for the hide described by Geoffrey Household in his novel Rogue Male. Although writ I was given this book, which is very nicely produced, with pen and ink drawings illustrating a sunken path, a hollow way, an ancient track worn down by generations. But the illustrations are all rather similar, and the writing, in this very short book - a kind of memorial to the writer Roger Deakin who died in his forties - with whom Robert Macfarlane had walked along the holloway near Chideock in Dorset, looking for the hide described by Geoffrey Household in his novel Rogue Male. Although written out as prose, the language is really that of poetry, but I'm afraid I don't find it very good or moving poetry. It is partly the use of obscure words which make the sense unclear, partly the images which I don't think always work, and partly the very annoying way in which sentences or phrases will be put into italics, for no apparent reason although they may be quotations, unacknowledged. Macfarlane has a very high reputation, as a leading nature writer of today, but his writing just doesn't work for me. I find it too elaborate, too self-regarding, showing off.
    more
  • PJ Who Once Was Peejay
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to rate this book because it isn't a book, really. It's 48 pages of prose poem and it reaches 48 pages only because there are some pages with not much on them, lovely line drawings, and blank pages. Don't get me wrong: what's there is beautiful and haunting, more of an evocation of times and places and suggestions of ghosts than anything else. But if you're trying to learn about holloways, those sunken roads worn down by generations of feet and wagon wheels and overgrown by trees, you It's hard to rate this book because it isn't a book, really. It's 48 pages of prose poem and it reaches 48 pages only because there are some pages with not much on them, lovely line drawings, and blank pages. Don't get me wrong: what's there is beautiful and haunting, more of an evocation of times and places and suggestions of ghosts than anything else. But if you're trying to learn about holloways, those sunken roads worn down by generations of feet and wagon wheels and overgrown by trees, you won't get much of that here. Beautiful writing, though, and I've always been a fan of Robert Macfarlane's writing.You can learn more about holloways here:http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/...
    more
  • Alex Sarll
    January 1, 1970
    A slim, beautiful fragment; nature writing as ghost story. Macfarlane's section reads almost like a fugue, appropriate given the death of Roger Deakin looming over all. Like China Mieville in Railsea, though for less obvious reasons, he uses ampersands rather than 'and' throughout. Richards' even briefer piece is the conclusion, and in comparison feels almost like the walk up from those strange sunken paths to the light. Donwood punctuates the text with haunting images, each picture looking stra A slim, beautiful fragment; nature writing as ghost story. Macfarlane's section reads almost like a fugue, appropriate given the death of Roger Deakin looming over all. Like China Mieville in Railsea, though for less obvious reasons, he uses ampersands rather than 'and' throughout. Richards' even briefer piece is the conclusion, and in comparison feels almost like the walk up from those strange sunken paths to the light. Donwood punctuates the text with haunting images, each picture looking straight down a holloway, inviting the eye to follow towards the unknown destination. It makes me happy that something this strange can be published, and that libraries will then buy it. Gives one a hope that maybe civilisation's not so beaten down as all that.
    more
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    This was written in memorial to the great nature writer Roger Deakin, sadly taken from us all at the peak of his writing powers.Macfarlane, Richards and Doonwood revisit the Dorset village of Chideock and search again for the holloway that Macfarlane and Deakin visited in 2005. They find it, and so begins the discovery of the landscape that these ancient trackways inhabit.Sadly it is a very short book, but it contains some very fine very writing and some exquisite art by Richard of these hollow This was written in memorial to the great nature writer Roger Deakin, sadly taken from us all at the peak of his writing powers.Macfarlane, Richards and Doonwood revisit the Dorset village of Chideock and search again for the holloway that Macfarlane and Deakin visited in 2005. They find it, and so begins the discovery of the landscape that these ancient trackways inhabit.Sadly it is a very short book, but it contains some very fine very writing and some exquisite art by Richard of these hollow ays. Its intensity is matched by its brevity and you are left wanting more.
    more
  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    The word comes from Hola Weg, an Anglo-Saxon term for a narrow path or sunken road. At one time they were ancient “desire paths” (shortcuts taken by foot or horse cart from village to village) and over the centuries the effects of wind, erosion and time itself have sunk them into the earth and turned them into underground tunnels held in place by a gnarled network of tree roots and brush overgrown with branches, foliage and thick hedges above. They are to be found all across Europe and this love The word comes from Hola Weg, an Anglo-Saxon term for a narrow path or sunken road. At one time they were ancient “desire paths” (shortcuts taken by foot or horse cart from village to village) and over the centuries the effects of wind, erosion and time itself have sunk them into the earth and turned them into underground tunnels held in place by a gnarled network of tree roots and brush overgrown with branches, foliage and thick hedges above. They are to be found all across Europe and this lovely little book is about a journey through one of them. Written by British nature writer Robert Macfarlane and beautifully illustrated with drawings by Stanley Donwood, the book recounts their journey to a remote area in England in search of a Holloway and the experiences they had as they explored it. Macfarlane described it as a landscape of shadows specters & great strangeness, a landscape “so dark and damp with a feeling of visiting the past that you could almost expect to see a dinosaur appear at any moment or some other ancient and extinct creature.”It’s intriguing to know that such places exist, worn into the earth and hidden away in remote places, and that it’s possible to find them and walk through them just as generations of people once did hundreds of years ago. Since I’ll never have that opportunity, I’m glad I stumbled across Macfarlane’s wonderful little book. It’s short enough (only 33 pages) to be read in a single sitting and so this is one book I plan to go back to again and again. I’ve also found a number of websites with additional information and fascinating photos of Holloways, like this one: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/...
    more
  • The Master
    January 1, 1970
    A neat little volume to read before setting off on an adventure to a new place.
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Stunningly illustrated book about a little known phenomenon.
  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    What a powerfully gorgeous book about what it feels like to embrace nature & live in the moment. Even though I live on a different continent than the authors, the prose brought back almost physical memories of my bushwalking & camping days. Loved it so much. #MountTBR2019
    more
  • Stephen Hancock
    January 1, 1970
    Holloway is a beautiful gem of a book - but a gem with a dark heart. Although the prose belongs whole-heartedly to the beautiful writing that is to be found in Landmarks and The Old Ways, it is, unlike these books, in a many ways a ghost story. There are two ghosts who haunnt these pages. The first is the absent presence of Roger Deakin, who had travelled with MacFarlane to explore the Chideock Holloway, or sunken path in darkest Dorset in 2004. There is a sense of time burning itself out that h Holloway is a beautiful gem of a book - but a gem with a dark heart. Although the prose belongs whole-heartedly to the beautiful writing that is to be found in Landmarks and The Old Ways, it is, unlike these books, in a many ways a ghost story. There are two ghosts who haunnt these pages. The first is the absent presence of Roger Deakin, who had travelled with MacFarlane to explore the Chideock Holloway, or sunken path in darkest Dorset in 2004. There is a sense of time burning itself out that hot summer: 'The blue July air hot and dry; dust puffing from the road at our fotfall; the smell of charred stone'. The summer smoulders in beautiful direct prose. A few years, Deakin sadly dies, and almost as if time wrinkles upon itself, MacFarlane, and two of his friends return, carrying the same tools, the same book, and walking the same path. The second ghost - or rather ghosts - are those who trod the path over the centuries, engraving the land permanently with their own absent presence with every footfall, every step, every movement, inscribing in the land their anonymous being. Whilst the descriptions of the landscape are poetic, and even moving at times, there is something almost sinister and secret in the description of this dark tunnel hidden by undergrowth: 'I experienced the powerful illusion that the path was sloping away...fraying down and out into the mist and offering an invitation to descend'. The Holloway becomes a living thing itself, embued with the vitality of those who created it. This slightly sinister sense is aided by the beautiful, stark, slightly claustrophobic etchings that punctuate the prose. An evocative, beautiful and, for me, a slightly disturbing book, almost reminiscent of Edward Thomas. Highly recommended.
    more
  • Charles Dee Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    Holloway – the hollow way. A sunken path, a deep & shady lane. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll & rain-run have harrowed into the land. A track worn down by the traffic of ages & the fretting of water, and in places reduced sixteen or eighteen feet beneath the level of the fields.When I read that description I ordered the book. Had I looked a bit closer I would have at least known that what was on its way to me was a thirty-six page volume, with many pages ei Holloway – the hollow way. A sunken path, a deep & shady lane. A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll & rain-run have harrowed into the land. A track worn down by the traffic of ages & the fretting of water, and in places reduced sixteen or eighteen feet beneath the level of the fields.When I read that description I ordered the book. Had I looked a bit closer I would have at least known that what was on its way to me was a thirty-six page volume, with many pages either blank or devoted to black-and-white illustrations. So if it was not the foray into historical geography I was expecting, coming to grips with just what is was a curious and rewarding experience.In 2005, the natural history writer Robert Macfarlane went with his friend, Roger Deakin, a documentary filmmaker, to discover and explore the Holloway used by the hero of John Buchan’s novel Rouge Male (1939) as a refuge and escape route. They find it. (It’s in South Dorset.) They explore it.Deakin died six years later. After his death, Macfarlane made a second trip to the holloway and its surrounding landscape with two other friends, the artist Stanley Donwood, whose illustrations fill out the book, and the author Dan Richards. They hike, they camp, they talk. Macfarlane ruminates.This book reminded me that England is a foreign country. From 1982 - 2005 I went there two or three times a year on business, but those were trips to London with, over the years, fewer and fewer side trips or longer holidays tacked onto them. Macfarlane makes a gracious host, so I never felt like an interloper on his two trips. But I was eavesdropping on lives defined by experiences I will never have and a landscape I will never know.
    more
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    Macfarlane's writing is lyrical and poignant, and all the more so because this story is a memorial. The descriptions are crisp and detailed, the language rich and occasionally unsettling; more fitting for a ghost story than a simple walk.However, I debated for a while over my rating, but in the end there's just not enough of it to give more than three stars. This is a short story, not even a novella, built up of disjointed scenes that don't quite work together. Even the overarching reminder of D Macfarlane's writing is lyrical and poignant, and all the more so because this story is a memorial. The descriptions are crisp and detailed, the language rich and occasionally unsettling; more fitting for a ghost story than a simple walk.However, I debated for a while over my rating, but in the end there's just not enough of it to give more than three stars. This is a short story, not even a novella, built up of disjointed scenes that don't quite work together. Even the overarching reminder of Deakin wasn't quite enough to link it all for me, and it lacked the depth of Macfarlane's other works.It's worth a read, for the unusual writing, but I'd hesitate to recommend it further than that.
    more
  • Radiantfracture
    January 1, 1970
    This is a small and beautiful essay in book form. It's gorgeously produced and illustrated.The descriptions of fog and being half-lost in it, with companions dwindling and vanishing and reappearing, are particularly fine.I could not help thinking that there ought to be more to it: more active reflection, more description, more event, more memories of the lost friend.Holloway is perhaps like an old E.B. White essay in that way; the book is about what it's about, these two visits to a fascinating This is a small and beautiful essay in book form. It's gorgeously produced and illustrated.The descriptions of fog and being half-lost in it, with companions dwindling and vanishing and reappearing, are particularly fine.I could not help thinking that there ought to be more to it: more active reflection, more description, more event, more memories of the lost friend.Holloway is perhaps like an old E.B. White essay in that way; the book is about what it's about, these two visits to a fascinating site of human-geographical interaction. It spends its energy on evoking a very particular landscape and the sensation of being submerged there.It's an interesting companion piece to Rogue Male, if you know that novel and its locations.
    more
  • Sam Drew
    January 1, 1970
    Well illustrated, and interesting if you're a fan of Macfarlane and his exploits (particularly with mentor Roger Deakin) or a fan of Household's 'Rogue Male' (the new release of which has a great introduction by Macfarlane), which forms the impetus for this book. As a short, stand-alone, poetic little book about a particular place twice-visited with different company, it's great. However, it lacks the depth of insight provided by 'Wild Places' or 'The Old Ways', and as a journey taken in company Well illustrated, and interesting if you're a fan of Macfarlane and his exploits (particularly with mentor Roger Deakin) or a fan of Household's 'Rogue Male' (the new release of which has a great introduction by Macfarlane), which forms the impetus for this book. As a short, stand-alone, poetic little book about a particular place twice-visited with different company, it's great. However, it lacks the depth of insight provided by 'Wild Places' or 'The Old Ways', and as a journey taken in company (and in the case of this book, written about by the company-there are some interesting extra passages by writer Dan Richards) it lacks the space for readers' engagement that was provided by Macfarlane's previous books.
    more
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Poetic and surreal
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    A visually beautiful book and a magical description of search for an ancient path
  • Marcus Hobson
    January 1, 1970
    I can only find one criticism of this book, and that is simply that it is too short. I wanted so much more, I wanted Robert Macfarlane to visit more Holloways around the country and expound on the differences from one region to another, those in woodlands and those on high wolds, the subtle difference between a Saxon sunken lane and an old estate boundary. I wanted hundreds and hundreds more descriptions.Instead I was treated to the briefest descriptions of southern Dorset, where the group of fr I can only find one criticism of this book, and that is simply that it is too short. I wanted so much more, I wanted Robert Macfarlane to visit more Holloways around the country and expound on the differences from one region to another, those in woodlands and those on high wolds, the subtle difference between a Saxon sunken lane and an old estate boundary. I wanted hundreds and hundreds more descriptions.Instead I was treated to the briefest descriptions of southern Dorset, where the group of friends tried to trace the paths described in a book called Rogue Male written in 1939. They went prepared to camp overnight with tents, blunt penknives and two hip flasks. Their journey, the descriptions and the wonderful black and white woodcut illustrations all invoke far away memories of England at its wonderful best. Difficult to find places, rolling countryside and even little hidden churches that tell stories. All rolled into a little book that only takes half and hour or so to read.There is something uniquely special about a Holloway. Even after reading this book I still cannot put my finger on what it is that makes them so fascinating. For me there were these roads in my childhood, in rural Leicestershire on a ridge top riddled with old Saxon and Viking villages, Wartnaby, Saxelby, Ab Kettelby, Grimston and down the hill to Old Dalby. I visited these places again recently and was still drawn by that love of holloways, taking photos which can never capture the same feelings you have when you walk these old roadways.
    more
  • Colin
    January 1, 1970
    In 2004 Robert Macfarlane and his friend, the nature writer Roger Deakin, set off to explore the holloways of Dorset. Holloways are sunken roadways, hundreds if not thousands of years old, cut into the landscape by the passage of millions of feet, hooves and wheels. They were looking for one in particular; the holloway in which Geoffrey Household's eponymous hero goes to ground to evade his mysterious pursuers in the classic adventure novel Rogue Male. A couple of years after their Dorset explor In 2004 Robert Macfarlane and his friend, the nature writer Roger Deakin, set off to explore the holloways of Dorset. Holloways are sunken roadways, hundreds if not thousands of years old, cut into the landscape by the passage of millions of feet, hooves and wheels. They were looking for one in particular; the holloway in which Geoffrey Household's eponymous hero goes to ground to evade his mysterious pursuers in the classic adventure novel Rogue Male. A couple of years after their Dorset explorations, Roger Deakin died and this short, beautifully written and illustrated book is by way of a tribute to him. Capturing the mystery of holloways - their otherworldliness, the sense of being shaped by countless generations of people who seem still to be present in spirit, their quietness, their passage through time as well as space, Macfarlane, Richards and Donwood have produced a beautiful and uncategorisable miniature.
    more
  • Katie Suratt
    January 1, 1970
    One lonely little copy of this haunted book lay beckoning to me on the table at the Winding Stair in Dublin. I picked it up, enchanted by its title and whispering artwork, and could not, for the entire hour I spent in that store, put it down again. It stayed in my hands of its own accord, and so to avoid trouble with the law I paid for it. And I think it's the most deliciously eerie thing I've ever read. It eludes all attempts to be contained, to be captured or defined, yet it latches onto its r One lonely little copy of this haunted book lay beckoning to me on the table at the Winding Stair in Dublin. I picked it up, enchanted by its title and whispering artwork, and could not, for the entire hour I spent in that store, put it down again. It stayed in my hands of its own accord, and so to avoid trouble with the law I paid for it. And I think it's the most deliciously eerie thing I've ever read. It eludes all attempts to be contained, to be captured or defined, yet it latches onto its readers and refuses to let go. It's poetry and prose and ghost story--the kind you'd read around a campfire, and yet also the kind that could put you into a trance on a wet and rainy day, deep in the throes of winter. It's a true story, and yet it reads like one of Poe's tales of terror. It takes place in summer, but it feels autumnal. I can only recommend it if you are the kind of reader who wants to be enchanted by the sublime.
    more
  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    "Holloway--the hollow way.  A sunken path, a deep and shady lane.  A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed into the land.  A track worn down by the traffic of ages and the fretting of water, and in places reduced sixteen or eighteen feet beneath the level of the fields.""Few holloways are in use now: they are too narrow and slow to suit modern travel, too deep to be filled in and farmed over.  They exist--but cryptically.  They have thrown up their ow "Holloway--the hollow way.  A sunken path, a deep and shady lane.  A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll and rain-run have harrowed into the land.  A track worn down by the traffic of ages and the fretting of water, and in places reduced sixteen or eighteen feet beneath the level of the fields.""Few holloways are in use now: they are too narrow and slow to suit modern travel, too deep to be filled in and farmed over.  They exist--but cryptically.  They have thrown up their own defenses and disguises: nettles and briars guard their entrances, trees to either side bend over them and lace their topmost branches to form a tunnel or roof."
    more
  • Karen Floyd
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautiful little gem of a book, written by Robert Macfarlane and poet Dan Richards, and illustrated by Stanley Donwood. In memory of their deceased friend Roger Deakin the three men set out to retrace the journey Macfarlane and Deakin made before the latter's early death, exploring one of Britain's holloways, roads so ancient and long-travelled that they have been worn down far below the level of the earth around them. In many places the holloways are like tunnels with tree canopies la This is a beautiful little gem of a book, written by Robert Macfarlane and poet Dan Richards, and illustrated by Stanley Donwood. In memory of their deceased friend Roger Deakin the three men set out to retrace the journey Macfarlane and Deakin made before the latter's early death, exploring one of Britain's holloways, roads so ancient and long-travelled that they have been worn down far below the level of the earth around them. In many places the holloways are like tunnels with tree canopies lacing together overhead and roots lacing together underfoot. Their feeling is that of a distant world, timeless and mysterious.
    more
  • Mary Warnement
    January 1, 1970
    Macfarlane knows obscure words, but he doesn't seem pedantic when he uses them. This lyrical description of a walk with four creative friends make my commute melt away. Stanley Donwood's accompanying art mesmerizes. His woodcuts ensnare me. I'm not sure of his printing process. I see a few similar items for sale online, but they are giclee prints of whatever his original method was. I have a list of words to look up for further etymologies or to learn for the first time. It's not often I encount Macfarlane knows obscure words, but he doesn't seem pedantic when he uses them. This lyrical description of a walk with four creative friends make my commute melt away. Stanley Donwood's accompanying art mesmerizes. His woodcuts ensnare me. I'm not sure of his printing process. I see a few similar items for sale online, but they are giclee prints of whatever his original method was. I have a list of words to look up for further etymologies or to learn for the first time. It's not often I encounter a new word. Macfarlane's other books are on my list. This little Faber & Faber french fold made me very happy.
    more
  • Emkoshka
    January 1, 1970
    'Walking such paths, you might walk up strange pasts'.This was a beautiful, lyrical and haunting little slip of a book, a love letter to the savage and uncanny elements of the wild and ancient English countryside. It makes me want to write a story set in and around a holloway. Without my new book buddy Paula's Facebook reviews (and that gorgeous cover art), I would never have encountered this gem. :)
    more
Write a review