Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Friday 27 April 2018

‘Ancient Wonderings’ – with James Canton

 Ancient Wonderings

Meet the Author with Dr. James Canton

6.30pm Friday 1st September

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Join us with James Canton, who’ll be talking about and reading from his new book.
‘Take a journey into our ancient past. Explore a long-lost landscape and gradually discover the minds, beliefs and cultural practices of those souls who lived on these lands thousands of years before you.’

About the Book

Travelling the length and breadth of Britain, in Ancient Wonderings James Canton pursues his obsession with the physical traces of the ancient world:

Dr James Canton

stone circles, flint arrowheads, sacred stones, gold, and a lost Roman road. He ponders the features of the natural world that occupied ancient minds: the night sky, shooting stars, the rising and setting sun. Wandering to the furthest reaches of the islands, he finds an undeciphered standing stone north of Aberdeen and follows the first footsteps on the edge of a long-lost Ice Age land in the North Sea.

As Canton walks the modern terrain, slowly understanding the ancient signs that lie within and beneath it, he weaves a gentle tale of discovery, showing how, beyond the superficial differences of life-style and culture, the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles were much closer to the present-day one than we might imagine.

About James Canton

James Canton teaches the Wild Writing MA course at the University of Essex, exploring the fascinating ties between literature and the landscape of East Anglia. He has run workshops to encourage writing on nature and landscape and is the author of Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape, which was inspired by rural wanderings in the county.

Praise for the Author

Ancient Wonderings is ‘Intensely alive to the landscape; its pasts, people and creatures’ Robert Macfarlane

Praise for James Canton’s Out of Essex:
‘Canton … is a stalker of literary ghosts, following traces across the Essex countryside that might lead him to the writers who might have lived and worked among these landscapes.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Some landscapes are silent, others as eager to communicate as the shades in Homer’s underworld. But not everyone has the gift of hearing what they are saying. James Canton’s involvement with Essex is long and deep, and in this book of walking, remembering, and reflecting, he picks up echoes from many writers who are connected to its villages, towns and surrounding countryside. … His pilgrimage to the past is full of surprises and always enjoyable, as he reinvigorates the familiar scene and recovers unfamiliar associations.’ Marina Warner, chair of the Man Booker International prize 2015
‘A work of gloriously mixed genre – part memoir, part literary criticism and part book of place – but it is unambiguously shaped by Canton’s love for the often overlooked landscapes of Essex and the many great words that they have inspired.’ Mark Cocker, author of Crow Country and Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet
‘It’s impossible not to be swept along with Canton’s infectious enthusiasm for his quest. Out of Essex is endearing and honest … a refreshing look at landscape through literary history that encourages us to refocus our perspective.’ The Earthlines Review
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