From the reviews...
`a masterpiece of its kind... this is, quite simply, beautiful, but it is also typical of a beautifully conceived work of exploration, by two emissaries to the wilderness who do the wasteland proud.' --The Times
`A haunting, often inspiring book...Edgelands covers an impressive range of politics, reminiscence, investigation and rumination.' --Scotland on Sunday,
`a book that begs us to use our imaginations; to appreciate what we pass by every day but never really see' --Metro,
`in this marvelously quirky, fascinatingly detailed and beautifully written book the two authors fulfill their brief triumphantly' --Daily Telegraph
`this book is a delight: witty and wryly contrarian' --Guardian
`eye-opening and hugely enjoyable book ... overall this is an original, surprising and rather wonderful addition to our literature of place' --Sunday Telegraph
'Edgelands delights with its sly, impish wit and observation' --The Spectator
From the book jacket...
Edgelands explores a wilderness that is much closer than you think: a debatable zone, neither the city nor the countryside, but a place in-between – so familiar it is never seen for looking. Passed through, negotiated, unnamed, ignored, the edgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps, places so difficult to acknowledge they barely exist. Edgelands forms a critique of what we value as ‘wild’, and allows our allotments, railways, motorways, wasteland and water a presence in the world, and a strange beauty all of their own.
Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley – both well-known poets – have lived and worked and known these places all their lives, and in Edgelands their journeying prose fuses, in the anonymous tradition, to allow this in-between world to speak up for itself. They write about mobile masts and gravel pits, business parks and landfill sites in the same way the Romantic writers forged a way of looking at an overlooked – but now familiar – landscape of hills and lakes and rivers. England, the first country to industrialise, now offers the world’s most mature post-industrial terrain, and is still in a state of flux: Edgelands takes the reader on a journey through its forgotten spaces so that we can marvel at this richly mysterious, cheek-by-jowl region in our midst.
Edgelands was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction in 2010.