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On This Holy Island

A Modern Pilgrimage Across Britain

«Smith is one of the best and most thoughtful travel writers working today. I loved this sensitive, astute, and delicately written account of his journeys to these most sacred places— standing stones and holy islands, crypt-like caves and sports stadia—disparate sites united by their profound effects upon the human psyche. Pilgrimage speaks to something soft and raw and yearning inside all of us, something powerful that goes so often unspoken. Smith bottles it on the page.»

Cal Flyn, author of 'Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape'
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Detaljer

Forlag
Bloomsbury Continuum
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
256
ISBN
9781399409032
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 15 cm

Anmeldelser

«Smith is one of the best and most thoughtful travel writers working today. I loved this sensitive, astute, and delicately written account of his journeys to these most sacred places— standing stones and holy islands, crypt-like caves and sports stadia—disparate sites united by their profound effects upon the human psyche. Pilgrimage speaks to something soft and raw and yearning inside all of us, something powerful that goes so often unspoken. Smith bottles it on the page.»

Cal Flyn, author of 'Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape'

«An illuminating, moving cross-section of past and present pilgrimages, exploring what transforms a trip into a journey of the soul. On This Holy Island is a window to enchantment for those searching for meaning in the modern world. Illuminating some of the holy rites and routes that we pass through unknowingly every day, giving our daily lives a renewed and much-needed sense of meaning. Reassuring the reader that, whatever the century, the possibility of transcendent connection with something greater might be just around the corner.»

Jade Angeles Fitton, author of Hermit: A memoir of finding freedom in a wild place

«A wonderfully original and engaging exploration of pilgrimage in modern Britain – with all its diversity of motivation and eccentricity of character. Oliver Smith trips lightly along pilgrims’ ways both old and new, with a sharp eye and an open mind.»

Tim Hannigan, author of 'The Granite Kingdom: A Cornish Journey'

«Warm and wise - a thoughtful, hands-on exploration of Britain's most magical places, and the people who come to pay homage.»

Tim Moore, author of 'Vuelta Skelter: Riding the Remarkable 1941 Tour of Spain'

«Excellent…a cornucopia of unusual and fascinating people…Oliver Smith’s excellent travelogue makes it clear that the desire to go on spiritual journeys is so much larger than the Christian tradition. [...] Through exploring a vast array of places that have become subjects of our spiritual attention and by speaking to the people who flock to them, Smith paints an extraordinary picture of British faith at its most eccentric.’ [...] rich with information, historical detail and descriptive prose [...] the book is immensely well-researched and playful. Smith has written something special.»

Patrick Galbraith, The Times

«On This Holy Island offers answers to urgent questions about what unites us and brings us together, and what is dear and special to us all about the British landscape and the marks humans continue to make on it. Whether marooned overnight in a cave on the Gower Peninsula or taking an irresistible drive through the back streets of Letchworth Garden City, Oliver Smith’s lively and ever-enquiring journey makes light work of seeking to understand the places, people and mysteries of our patch of land.»

Tom Hall, Editorial Director at Lonely Planet

«Entertaining and well-written, offbeat and informative»

Church Times

«It is the ancient uncomfortably pushing against the modern that fascinates Smith… aiming to “travel deeper, not further”, and his itinerary is an array of hallowed places mixed in with Bill Bryson-like pit stops involving “Welcome Breaks and Ginsters pasties”. Roaming Britain from sea caves to railway lines to fly-tipped suburbia, by way of venerated places such as Iona Abbey and Glastonbury Tor, he also leads us to lesser-known pilgrimage destinations like Walsingham, a tiny village known as “England’s Nazareth” where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in 1061… The overriding message is that every pilgrimage is unique and what is required is an open mind. To embark with hope and then, as he puts it, “to break through the crust of the familiar to find the fantastical”.»

Caroline Eden, Financial Times

«There has been a post pandemic rash of writers rushing hither and thither across Britain for book material, but this is one of the most imaginative and engaging.»

Country Life

«Post-pandemic, it makes even more sense to look locally before setting off for Rome, Jerusalem or Santiago de Compostela. On This Holy Island shows us just where to start.»

The Spectator

«Faultless writing throughout»

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