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All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between By Mike Parker Cover Image

All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between (Hardcover)


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A Waterstones Travel Book of the Year 2023

A funny, warm and timely meditation on identity and belonging, following the scenic route along the England-Wales border: Britain's deepest faultline.

There is a line on the map: to one side Wales, small, rugged and stubborn; on the other England, crucible of the most expansionist culture the world has ever seen. It is a line that has been dug, debated, defined and defended for twenty centuries.

All the Wide Border is a personal journey through the places, amongst the people, and across the divides of the border between England and Wales. Taking in some of our loveliest landscapes, and our darkest secrets, this is a region of immeasurable wonder and interest. It is here that the deepest roots and thorniest paradoxes of Britishness lie. The border between the countries, even as a concept, is ragged, jagged and many-layered.

Garlanded author Mike Parker has adored and explored these places his entire life. Born in England but settled in Wales, he finds himself typical of many in being pulled in both directions. His journey is divided into three legs, corresponding with the watersheds of the three great border rivers: the Dee in the north, the Severn in the centre, the Wye in the south. Neither quite England nor Wales, the furzy borderland he uncovers -- the March -- is another country.

Picking apart the many notions and clich's of Englishness, Welshness and indeed Britishness, Mike Parker plays with the very idea of borders: our fascination with them, our need for them, and our response to their power. In his hands, the England-Wales frontier is revealed to be a border within us all, and it is fraying, fast.

Mike Parker was born in England and has lived in Wales for half of his life. His other books include the bestseller Map Addict, The Wild Rover and On the Red Hill, which was shortlisted and Highly Commended for the 2020 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing and won the non-fiction Wales Book of the Year Award. In 2021, he received the Glyndwr Award for outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales. He is an experienced broadcaster, occasional stand-up, failed politician and has written for the Guardian, Sunday Times, Observer and many more.
Product Details ISBN: 9780008499181
ISBN-10: 0008499187
Publisher: Harpernorth
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English