Nearest Earthly Place to Paradise: The Literary Landscape of Shropshire Editor: Margaret Wilson Photographer: Geoff Taylor (Ludlow, Merlin Unwin Books Ltd, 2013), £20.00.
The county of Shropshire is a rather well-kept secret. This is a border county that was fiercely fought over for many generations. Centuries of turbulence have left their echo in Iron Age hill forts, castles and fortified manor houses and also a rich store of folklore. There is a sense of place, a genius loci, that fosters a feeling of belonging which is reassuring in a busy world.
Extracts from Charles Dickens to Tom Sharpe, from Katherine Swift to AE Housman, from Bill Bryson to Pete Postlethwaite, are matched with stunning photographs by Shropshire's Geoff Taylor, who has captured the landscapes that drew out the words.