Date(s) - Thursday, 7th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nottingham Mechanics Institute
“Environmental thought and ‘green’ politics have been mainstream parts of British culture for more than a century. Yet where did these ideas come from? And who created the cherished institutions, such as the National Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, that are now embedded in our public life
“From the flatlands of Norfolk to the tundra-like expanses of the Flow Country in northernmost Scotland, I made a personal quest to find the answers to this question and to unravel what nature means to the British people. I also wanted to clarify how I truly felt and feel about what has happened to this country in the last half century.
“I explored in detail six special places that embody the history of conservation, or whose fortunes allow us to understand why our landscape has come to look as it does. Above all [I attempt] to resolve a paradox: why do the British seem to love their countryside more than almost any other nation, yet they have come to live amid one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth?
“[My new book] Our Place is partly a work of history, partly a personal geographical quest and partly a philosophical inquiry into our relationship with the rest of life. I’d like to think that it tackles some of the central issues of our age. And in its conclusion I attempt to map out how this over-crowded island of ours could be a place fit not just for its human occupants, but for all its billions of citizens.”
This year Mark Cocker completes 30 years as a Guardian country diarist. His ten other books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. They include Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet and Birds and People. The latter was published to international acclaim and was a collaboration with the photographer David Tipling. Between them these two were shortlisted for six literary awards including the Thwaites/Wainwright Prize. His book Crow Country was shorlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, and won the New Angle Prize (2009). Mark was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of East Anglia, where he has recently placed his archive
Tickets: £4 . Note venue: Nottingham Mechanics, not the bookshop
A Bread and Roses event
Bar on site.
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