A Land

Jacquetta Hawkes, Author, Robert Finch, Introduction by Beacon Press (MA) $17 (268p) ISBN 978-0-8070-8511-0
These ``recollections'' of the geological formation of Britain comprise that rarity--a scientific account written with verve and personable elegance. Archaeologist Hawkes makes riveting as epic fiction the snail's-pace transformation of the island from seabed to tropic to glacial region, from towering mountains to farmland. Along the way, she muses: ``What could be more youthful than England in April? It has taken three thousand million years to create that youthfulness, those fierce young buds and frail eggs . . . .'' In discussing the critical development of life's awareness of itself, she underscores her view of the close links between prehistory and civilization: ``Nothing but some fifteen hundred million years separates the first pieces of life from Proust,'' whom she envisions as a ``naked nerve at the centre of a trembling web of remembered consciousness.'' In conclusion, she denounces the ravages wreaked by massive industrialization on both the land and the human spirit and mounts an eloquent plea for a return to a holistic philosophy. This welcome reissue of a work originally published in 1952 and long out of print includes a map of Britain, not seen by PW . (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-00-745746-5
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