Publication Date: 10/02/2022 ISBN: 9781784704902 Category:

Time Song

Julia Blackburn

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 10/02/2022 ISBN: 9781784704902 Category:
Paperback / Softback





A journey told through stories and songs into Doggerland, the ancient region that once joined the east coast of England to Holland

Time Song tells of the creation, the existence and the loss of a country now called Doggerland, a huge and fertile area that once connected the entire east coast of England with mainland Europe, until it was finally submerged by rising sea levels around 5000 BC.

Julia Blackburn mixes fragments from her own life with a series of eighteen ‘songs’ and all sorts of stories about the places and the people she meets in her quest to get closer to an understanding of this vanished land. She sees the footprints of early humans fossilised in the soft mud of an estuary alongside the scattered pockmarks made by rain falling eight thousand years ago. She visits a cave where the remnants of a Neanderthal meal have turned to stone. In Denmark she sits beside Tollund Man who, despite having lain in a peat bog since the start of the Bronze Age, seems to be about to wake from a dream…

‘This book is a wonder’ Adam Nicolson, Spectator

‘A clairvoyant and poetic conversation with the past’ Antony Gormley

Publisher Review

A poetic and fascinating exploration of life on Doggerland... This is one of the only books I've ever read that has made me feel better about climate change. -- Olivia Laing * Guardian *Book of the Week* * Rarely have I read a book in which there is such an entrancingly liquid and easy drift between the metaphorical and the actual... This is not science or history (there are enough books like that) but understanding - so that in [Blackburn's] hands the ancient Doggerland landscape of distant summers becomes filled again... This book is a wonder. -- Adam Nicolson * Spectator * A magical, mesmerising book - a book which makes you feel giddy at the thought of the deep gulf of history hidden just beneath your feet. -- Roger Cox * Scotsman * Time Song is not a straightforward book about Doggerland. It is much more interesting than that... Time Song is richly peopled, Blackburn's unflagging curiosity and sharp eye bringing a diverse cast of characters vividly to life. She sifts their stories not just for information, but for meaning; she's conjuring for us not merely the facts of Doggerland, but the weight of its omission from our history books, our collective memory and our imaginations. -- Melissa Harrison * Financial Times * Breathtaking... [a] splendidly rich book... I admire the intelligence, the appetite for discovery and the shining imagination that have gone into [Time Song]. -- Gillian Tindall * Literary Review *

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