The Old Ways

Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Hamish Hamilton, 2012)

Times Higher Education

20 March 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about the poet Edward Thomas lately, trying to come to terms with his subtle, intriguing insight into the relationship between humankind and the natural world. Macfarlane’s book about walking is also a book about Thomas, and it captures his spirit more vividly than a conventional critical study could do. An absorbing meditation on how we make contact with the landscape, it deserves to be read alongside Thomas’s own nature writing, which in turn deserves to be read alongside Thomas’s verse.