Images of the Downs – Hardback

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By John Mosley

Images of the Downs captures in words and photography the spirit of the North and South Downs, the Dorset Downs, those of Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire – the primeval chalk landscape of southern England radiating outwards from Salisbury Plain.

It records the elements which have appealed to people through the centuries, both those who have lived on or near the downs, and visitors and foreign tourists: elements which have held a strong attraction for writers, painters, historians, musicians and poets.

Its themes include the geology and archaeology of the downs; agriculture and farm life; racing and sport; manor houses and domestic architecture; conservation; natural history and the great writers on the countryside, such as Gilbert White, Richard Jefferies and W H Hudson, who have immortalized downland. Quotations from these writers, and from the works and letters of other artists and writers as diverse as William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Thomas Hardy, Edward Thomas, D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf highlight the evocative qualities of the chalk hills.

The photographs are a personal view of the downland of southern England, a visual statement about an area which is particularly illustrative of the soft English countryside, with all its gradations of light and shade – an area of English landscape at its finest.

192 pages 80 illustrations