The Hidden Fires
Shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
Elemental, fierce and full of wonder, the Cairngorm mountains are the high and rocky heart of Scotland. To know them would take forever, to love them demands a kind of courageous surrender.
In The Hidden Fires, Merryn Glover undertakes that challenge with Nan Shepherd as companion and guiding light. Following in the footsteps and contours of The Living Mountain, she explores the same landscapes and themes as Shepherd’s seminal work. This is a journey separated by time but unified by space and purpose, a conversation between two women across nearly a century that explores how entering the life of a mountain can illuminate our own.
An Australian who grew up in the Himalayas, her early experiences of the Scottish hills and weather left her cold. But gradually acclimatising and with an approach like Shepherd’s, that is more mountain wandering than mountaineering, she discovers the spark that sets the hills and herself on fire. Through Glover’s deepening encounter, the wild majesty and iridescence of the Cairngorms is revealed in this beautiful evocation of landscape, place and identity.
‘Merryn Glover’s The Hidden Fires is not just brave, it is remarkable’ – Sir John Lister-Kaye
'A dazzling adventure into mountain, place and time. Redolent with the presence of Nan Shepherd, this book will captivate lovers of The Living Mountain' -- Esther Woolfson 'The Hidden Fires is a book about homecoming and homemaking, of noticing and belonging. It is a joyous celebration of the process of finding yourself' -- Kerri Andrews, author of Wanderers: A History of Women Walking 'Only rarely does one read a book whose quality of distinction is immediately apparent from the first page; Merryn Glover's The Hidden Fires is not just brave, it is remarkable. Her writing comes at you out of the rock; it recalls some splendid cave painting, telling as much of man as of beast and leaving us in awe of each' -- Sir John Lister-Kaye, FRSGS, OBE 'A meditation on both Nan Shepherd's classic book and on what the mountains mean to them both...the discoveries she makes as she follows in Shepherd' Cairngorms footsteps have a freshness about them. There's magic and mysticism in the mix too' -- David Robinson * The Scotsman *
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